ISSN 10623604, Russian Journal of Developmental Biology, 2010, Vol. 41, No. 6, pp. 406–418. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2010.
Original Russian Text © the Editorial Board, 2010, published in Ontogenez, 2010, Vol. 41, No. 6, pp. 467–480.
Study of MolecularGenetic Aspects of Embryonic Development
of Human Brain and Retina in vivo and in vitro
B. I. Verdiev
Laboratory of Experimental Neurobiology
Neuroepithelial cells emerge at the early blastula stage
and are among the first cell differentiation processes in
embryos during mammalian embryogenesis. During
embryogenesis, these neural stem cells give origin to the
whole nervous system. The neocortex and eye retina,
whose mechanisms of neurogenesis are similar to a cer
tain extent, derive from the neuroepithelium of the ante
rior cerebral vesicle. The goal of this study was to compare
human neocortex and retina by expression of some regu
latory genes and neural differentiation markers in ontog
eny and in cell culture.
On day 9 of development in native retina and neocor
tex, we detected positive staining for nestin of radial glial
fibers (neuroepithelial marker),
cells (early neuroblast marker), and the absence of posi
tive reaction for the glial fibrillar acid proteins (GFAP,
astroglial marker). On week 20 of development, nestin,
tubulin, and GFAPpositive cells were detected.
Embryonic retinal and brain cultures contained cells
gene as well as neuraldifferentiation
cells characteristic of native tissue.
According to the results of quantitative PCR analysis,
the level of
expression during neurogenesis in native
retina and neocortex almost did not change in the period
from week 9 to week 20 of ontogeny and was stably higher
in the retina than in the neocortex.
increased in the retina and decreased in the neocortex.
The level of expression of the transcriptional factor
slightly changed in both structures. The expression profile
gene was characterized by a twofold
increase in the retina on week 18 of ontogeny and a three
fold decrease in the neocortex on week 12 of ontogeny.
The expression profile of the
gene in retinal and neo
cortical cultures on week 10.5 of ontogeny was the same as
in the native tissues. The expression profile of
genes in retinal culture slightly differed from that
in the native tissues, whereas in the neocortical culture the
level of expression of these genes was significantly lower.
In the retinal culture, the
gene expression was one
order of magnitude higher than in the native tissue,
whereas in the neocortical culture it was two times lower.
The results of this study showed that native embryonic
retina and neocortex are similar in the expression profile
genes and that the time course of
expression apparently reflects the process of dif
ferentiation of specific neurons. In the retinal culture,
cells better retain the potential of the initial tissue com
pared to the neocortical culture cells.
This study was supported by the Russian Foundation
for Basic Research (project no. 080400081a).
The Role of Neural Crest Cells
in Dermal Papilla Formation and Function
K. Yu. Gnedeva
Laboratory of Cell Proliferation Problems
Neural crest cells are a migratory population of multi
potent cells. They give origin to diverse structures, such as
the conducting system of the heart, dorsal ganglion, and
melanocytes of the skin and the major part of head meso
derm. Recent studies showed that dermal papilla cells of
head hair also originate from neural crest cells. Using the
e genetic model, we showed that
descendants of neural crest cells were found in the meso
dermal component of head hair and that knockout ani
mals have a number of serious deficiencies in vibrissa pat
tern and structure. We also demonstrated that dermal
papilla cells of head hair, but not of other parts of the body,
can be differentiated into neurons, glia, and smooth mus
cles, which is characteristic of neural crest cells. On the
Abstracts of Papers, Conference of Young Scientists, Kol’tsov
Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Moscow, Russia (December 21–22, 2009)