Neural Development in the CNS: Biochemical Mechanisms of Cell Fate Determination

  • A. Cestelli
  • G. Savettieri
  • I. Di Liegro
Conference paper


Ever since the 1930s, when Spenmann and Mangold showed that the prospective dorsal side of the amphibian embryo is conveniently marked by the blastopore lip, a site where endoderm and mesoderm invaginate at the start of gastrulation [1], developmental biologists have been fascinated by the search for endogenous inducing molecules. When these two scientists transplanted a small piece of tissue including the blastopore lip from one embryo to the ventral side of another, the host embryo responded to the grafted tissue by forming a complete secondary dorsal axis. In the following years, other researchers found that transplanting tissue around the anterior end of the primitive streak in avian and mammalian embryos, called Hensen’s node, also duplicates the dorsal axis and induces a secondary nervous system [1]. Thus, in all vertebrate embryos there is a region, called Spenmann’s organizer, that initiates the formation of neural tissue by inducing dorsal ectoderm to form a neurogenic epithelium rather than undergoing epithelial differentiation.


Neural Tube Neural Development Neural Plate Cortical Plate Floor Plate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Cestelli
  • G. Savettieri
  • I. Di Liegro

There are no affiliations available

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