Nervous systems of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis are generated by ectoderm and endoderm and shaped by distinct mechanisms

Nakanishi, Nagayasu, Renfer, Eduard, Technau, Ulrich and Rentzsch, Fabian (2012) Nervous systems of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis are generated by ectoderm and endoderm and shaped by distinct mechanisms. Development, 139 2: 347-357. doi:10.1242/dev.071902

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Author Nakanishi, Nagayasu
Renfer, Eduard
Technau, Ulrich
Rentzsch, Fabian
Title Nervous systems of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis are generated by ectoderm and endoderm and shaped by distinct mechanisms
Journal name Development   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0950-1991
1477-9129
Publication date 2012-01-15
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1242/dev.071902
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 139
Issue 2
Start page 347
End page 357
Total pages 11
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Subject 1309 Developmental Biology
1312 Molecular Biology
Abstract As a sister group to Bilateria, Cnidaria is important for understanding early nervous system evolution. Here we examine neural development in the anthozoan cnidarian Nematostella vectensis in order to better understand whether similar developmental mechanisms are utilized to establish the strikingly different overall organization of bilaterian and cnidarian nervous systems. We generated a neuron-specific transgenic NvElav1 reporter line of N. vectensis and used it in combination with immunohistochemistry against neuropeptides, in situ hybridization and confocal microscopy to analyze nervous system formation in this cnidarian model organism in detail. We show that the development of neurons commences in the ectoderm during gastrulation and involves interkinetic nuclear migration. Transplantation experiments reveal that sensory and ganglion cells are autonomously generated by the ectoderm. In contrast to bilaterians, neurons are also generated throughout the endoderm during planula stages. Morpholino-mediated gene knockdown shows that the development of a subset of ectodermal neurons requires NvElav1, the ortholog to bilaterian neural elav1 genes. The orientation of ectodermal neurites changes during planula development from longitudinal (in early-born neurons) to transverse (in late-born neurons), whereas endodermal neurites can grow in both orientations at any stage. Our findings imply that elav1-dependent ectodermal neurogenesis evolved prior to the divergence of Cnidaria and Bilateria. Moreover, they suggest that, in contrast to bilaterians, almost the entire ectoderm and endoderm of the body column of Nematostella planulae have neurogenic potential and that the establishment of connectivity in its seemingly simple nervous system involves multiple neurite guidance systems.
Keyword Cnidaria
Elav
Evolution
Nematostella
Neural development
Neurogenesis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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