The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 65: 513 - 522 (2021)

Vol 65, Issue 10-11-12

Maternal and zygotic activin signaling promotes adequate pattern and differentiation of mesoderm through regulation of pluripotency genes during zebrafish development

Original Article | Published: 10 September 2021

Shaghayegh Hasanpour1,2, Soheil Eagderi*,1, Hadi Poorbagher1 and Mohammad Hasanpour3

1Department of Fisheries, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, 2PhD, Development and biosystematics lab, Department of fisheries and animal sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj and 3MD, Department of neurosurgery, division of vascular and endovascular neurosurgery, Firoozgar hospital, Iran University of Medical sciences, Tehran, Iran


To investigate the role of maternal Activin-like factors in the preservation of stemness and mesendoderm induction, their effects were promoted and inhibited using synthetic human Activin A or SB-505124 treatments, respectively, before the maternal to zygotic transition (MZT). To study the role of zygotic Activin-like factors, SB-505124 treatment was also used after the MZT. Promoting the signaling intensity of maternal Activin-like factors led to premature differentiation, loss of stemness, and no mesendoderm malformation, while its alleviation delayed the differentiation and caused various malformations. Inhibition of the zygotic Activin-like factors was associated with suppressing the ndr1, ndr2, oct4 (pou5f3), mycb and notail transcription as well as differentiation retardation at the oblong stage, and a broad spectrum of anomalies in a dose-dependent manner. Together, promoting the signal intensity of maternal Activin-like factors drove development along with mesendodermal differentiation, while suppression of the maternal or zygotic ones maintained the pluripotent state and delayed differentiation.


ndr1, differentiation, mesendoderm, zebrafish

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