Int. J. Dev. Biol. 52: 397 - 405 (2008)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.072424fk
© UPV/EHU Press

Expression of protocadherin 18 in the CNS and pharyngeal arches of zebrafish embryos

Fumitaka Kubota, Tohru Murakami*, Yuki Tajika and Hiroshi Yorifuji

Neuromuscular and Developmental Anatomy, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Gunma, Japan

ABSTRACT Here, we report the results of molecular cloning and expression analyses of a non-clustered protocadherin (pcdh), pcdh18 in zebrafish embryos. The predicted zebrafish pcdh18 protein shows 65­66% identity and 78­79% homology with its mammalian and Xenopus counterparts. It has a Disabled-1 binding motif in its cytoplasmic domain, which is characteristic of pcdh18. Zebrafish embryos expressed pcdh18 by the early gastrula stage, 6 h post-fertilization (hpf), in their animal cap but not in the germ ring or the shield. pcdh18 was expressed in the neural tube and the central nervous system (CNS) from 12 hpf. Some populations of cells in the lateral neural tube and spinal cord of 12­18 hpf embryos expressed pcdh18, but expression in these cells disappeared by 24 hpf. The hindbrain of embryos at 24­56 hpf expressed pcdh18 in cells closely adjacent to the rostral and caudal rhombomeric boundaries in a thread-like pattern running in the dorsoventral direction. The pcdh18-positive cells were localized in the ventral part of the hindbrain at 24 hpf and in the dorsal part from 36 hpf. pcdh18 was also expressed in the telencephalon, diencephalon, tectum, upper rhombic lip, retina and otic vesicle. Expression in the CNS decreased markedly before hatching. Pharyngeal arch primordia, arches, jaws and gills expressed pcdh18, and the molecule was also expressed in some endodermal cells in late embryos.

Keywords:

Danio rerio, central nervous system, pharyngeal arch, protocadherin, rhombomere

*Corresponding author e-mail: tohru.murakami@gunma-u.ac.jp