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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Involvement of the sonic hedgehog, patched 1 and bmp2 genes in patterning of the zebrafish dermal fin rays.

The signaling molecule encoded by Sonic hedgehog (shh) participates in the patterning of several embryonic structures including limbs. During early fin development in zebrafish, a subset of cells in the posterior margin of pectoral fin buds express shh. We have shown that regulation of shh in pectoral fin buds is consistent with a role in mediating the activity of a structure analogous to the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA) (Akimenko and Ekker (1995) Dev. Biol. 170, 243-247). During growth of the bony rays of both paired and unpaired fins, and during fin regeneration, there does not seem to be a region equivalent to the ZPA and one would predict that shh would play a different role, if any, during these processes specific to fish fins. We have examined the expression of shh in the developing fins of 4-week old larvae and in regenerating fins of adults. A subset of cells in the basal layer of the epidermis in close proximity to the newly formed dermal bone structures of the fin rays, the lepidotrichia, express shh, and ptc1 which is thought to encode the receptor of the SHH signal. The expression domain of ptc1 is broader than that of shh and adjacent blastemal cells releasing the dermal bone matrix also express ptc1. Further observations indicate that the bmp2 gene, in addition to being expressed in the same cells of the basal layer of the epidermis as shh, is also expressed in a subset of the ptc1-expressing cells of the blastema. Amputations of caudal fins immediately after the first branching point of the lepidotrichia, and global administration of all-trans-retinoic acid, two procedures known to cause fusion of adjacent rays, result in a transient decrease in the expression of shh, ptc1 and bmp2. The effects of retinoic acid on shh expression occur within minutes after the onset of treatment suggesting direct regulation of shh by retinoic acid. These observations suggest a role for shh, ptc1 and bmp2 in patterning of the dermoskeleton of developing and regenerating teleost fins.[1]


  1. Involvement of the sonic hedgehog, patched 1 and bmp2 genes in patterning of the zebrafish dermal fin rays. Laforest, L., Brown, C.W., Poleo, G., Géraudie, J., Tada, M., Ekker, M., Akimenko, M.A. Development (1998) [Pubmed]
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