Development of the anterior lateral line system through local tissue-tissue interactions in the zebrafish head

Miki Iwasaki, Hayato Yokoi, Tohru Suzuki, Koichi Kawakami, Hironori Wada

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The distribution of sensory organs is important for detecting environmental signals efficiently. The mechanosensory receptors of the lateral line system, neuromasts, are stereotypically distributed over the head and body surface of fish, although how neuromasts arise in these predetermined positions during development remains unclear. Results: We investigated the development of the anterior lateral line (ALL) system in zebrafish head. The ALL neuromasts formed in the predetermined positions through proliferation and differentiation of (a) nonmigratory lateral line primordia, (b) migratory primordia, (c) interneuromast cells connecting preexisting neuromasts, and (d) budding primordia. We demonstrated that R-spondin2 (Rspo2), an activator of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, is required for the development of a particular set of neuromasts associated with hyomandibular cartilage. Further genetic analyses suggested that Rspo2, which emanates from the hyoid mesenchyme, acts on the adjacent neuromast progenitor cells to stimulate their proliferation through activating Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Conclusion: This study has revealed novel mechanisms for neuromast positioning through local tissue-tissue interactions, providing insights into the development and evolution of the vertebrate head.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1440-1454
    Number of pages15
    JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec


    • Rspo2
    • Wnt/β-catenin signaling
    • neural crest
    • neuromasts
    • placode

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Developmental Biology


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