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A fishy tail: Insights into the cell and molecular biology of neuromesodermal cells from zebrafish embryos.

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Steventon, Benjamin 


Vertebrate embryos establish their primary body axis in a conserved progressive fashion from the anterior to the posterior. During this process, a posteriorly localized neuromesodermal cell population called neuromesodermal progenitors (NMps) plays a critical role in contributing new cells to the spinal cord and mesoderm as the embryo elongates. Defects in neuromesodermal population development can cause severe disruptions to the formation of the body posterior to the head. Given their importance during development and their potential, some of which has already been realized, for revealing new methods of in vitro tissue generation, there is great interest in better understanding NMp biology. The zebrafish model system has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of the molecular and cellular attributes of the NM cell population and its derivatives. In this review, we focus on our current understanding of the zebrafish NM population and its contribution to body axis formation, with particular emphasis on the lineage potency, morphogenesis, and niche factors that promote or inhibit differentiation.



Animals, Body Patterning, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Mesoderm, Molecular Biology, Neural Stem Cells, Zebrafish

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Dev Biol

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Elsevier BV