Issue Information

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Issue Information

  • Pages: 1-7
  • First Published: 18 December 2017

COVER PHOTOGRAPH: Repeated, colorized scanning electron micrographs of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, in which a portion of the ventral head epidermis has been transformed into an ectopic eye by the forced expression of the retinal determination gene sine oculis. The ectopic eye sits just below the normal compound eye. Photo by Brandon P. Weasner and Justin P. Kumar; From: The Fly Eye: Through the Looking Glass; Justin Kumar, Developmental Dynamics 247:111–123.


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Developmental biology – more dynamic than ever!

  • Pages: 8-9
  • First Published: 18 December 2017

Critical Commentaries

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Cell lineage tracing in the retina: Could material transfer distort conclusions?

  • Pages: 10-17
  • First Published: 23 June 2017
Key Findings

  • Evidence of material transfer in retinal transplantation is reviewed.
  • Possible confounding effects of label transfer in cell lineage tracing are discussed.
  • Different ways to control for possible label transfer in cell lineage tracing studies are proposed.

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Maximizing functional axon repair in the injured central nervous system: Lessons from neuronal development

  • Pages: 18-23
  • First Published: 23 June 2017
Key Findings

  • Axons may aberrantly synapse within the lesion after injury in the mature CNS.
  • Transcriptional programs undergo changes during CNS development and may underlie loss of intrinsic axon growth capacity.
  • Targeting global regulators of cell signalling and post-translational modifications with small-molecule drugs can induce axon regeneration.
  • Studies on CNS development have informed the conception of strategies to stimulate and optimize axon regeneration in the injured mature CNS.


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Diverse roles for the ror-family receptor tyrosine kinases in neurons and glial cells during development and repair of the nervous system

  • Pages: 24-32
  • First Published: 03 May 2017
Key Findings

  • In this review, we summarized current knowledge about the roles of the Ror-family receptor tyrosine kinases in the development and repair of the nervous system after injury, and their possible implications in neurodegenerative diseases.
  • In mammals, Ror2 as well as Ror1 acts as receptor for Wnt5a to mediate non-canonical Wnt signaling, and it plays critical roles in regulating tissue- and organo-genesis during development.
  • Ror2 and/or Ror1 play roles in regulating cell proliferation of neural stem/progenitor cells in the developing brain and in astrocytes in the adult brain after injury.

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Neurodegeneration in ataxia-telangiectasia: Multiple roles of ATM kinase in cellular homeostasis

  • Pages: 33-46
  • First Published: 22 May 2017
Key Findings

  • ATM functions in mitochondria and peroxisomes to regulate mitophagy and pexophagy.
  • Multiple roles of cytoplasmic ATM in cellular homeostasis.
  • Neurodegeneration related to disrupted cytoplasmic ATM signalling in Ataxia-telangiectasia.

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Mitochondrial dynamics in the regulation of neurogenesis: From development to the adult brain

  • Pages: 47-53
  • First Published: 23 June 2017
Key Findings

  • Mitochondrial dynamics is important during embryonic and adult neurogenesis.
  • Mitochondrial dynamics regulate neural stem cell function.
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction leads to defects in brain development and adult neurogenesis.

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Diverse roles for glycosaminoglycans in neural patterning

  • Pages: 54-74
  • First Published: 24 July 2017
Key Findings

  • Glycosaminoglycans serve specific and instructive roles in neural patterning.
  • Glycosaminoglycans serve specific roles in synaptic development and function.
  • The molecular diversity (a glycosaminoglycan code) contributes to the functional specificity.
  • Glycosaminoglycans serve redundantly to regulate cell-cell signaling during development of the nervous system.
  • The function of glycosaminoglycans in regulating signaling pathways is conserved throughout evolution.

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Neural stem cell therapy aiming at better functional recovery after spinal cord injury

  • Pages: 75-84
  • First Published: 02 August 2017
Key Findings

  • Transplantation of Neural stem cells (NSCs) promotes functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI).
  • Neurons derived from transplanted NSCs contribute directly to the recovery by forming functional neuronal relay.
  • Transplantation of NSCs from human iPSCs represents a promising approach for clinical treatment of SCI.
  • Combination therapy is necessary to further improve therapeutic outcome of NSCs transplantation.

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Gene network underlying the glial regenerative response to central nervous system injury

  • Pages: 85-93
  • First Published: 09 August 2017
Key Findings

  • The glial regenerative response (GRR) to CNS injury is evolutionarily conserved across the animals.
  • It involves the balanced regulation of neuropile glia proliferation and differentiation.
  • Research using Drosophila genetics and mammalian findings has uncovered a gene network underlying this response.
  • In Drosophila, altering these gene functions can shift the response of glia from prevention to promotion of repair, or glial tumoural over-growth.
  • The GRR gene network is homeostatic and provides structural robustness.

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MicroRNA-induced silencing in epilepsy: Opportunities and challenges for clinical application

  • Pages: 94-110
  • First Published: 29 August 2017
Key Findings

  • MicroRNA expression levels and function change after seizure and in epilepsy.
  • MicroRNA-induced silencing mediates cellular changes associated with seizures and epilepsy, including neuroinflammation.
  • Manipulating select microRNAs modulates seizure susceptibility and epileptogenesis pointing towards novel therapeutic strategies.
  • More research is needed to reveal underlying mechanisms and cell- and target-specificity of microRNA-induced silencing in epilepsy.

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The fly eye: Through the looking glass

  • Pages: 111-123
  • First Published: 30 August 2017
Key Findings

  • This commentary highlights exciting questions in developmental biology that can be answered by using the developing Drosophila melanogaster compound eye as an experimental model system.

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Asymmetric development of the nervous system

  • Pages: 124-137
  • First Published: 23 September 2017
Key Findings

  • Similarities and differences are found in the molecular mechanisms used to establish left-right asymmetry in the nervous system of different animal species.
  • There are conflicting reports in the human brain asymmetry field that may limit advances in determining molecular mechanisms used for brain laterality.
  • Functional and anatomical brain asymmetries may use distinct molecular mechanisms.
  • Aspects of sensory perception of the environment requires asymmetry in the nervous system.
  • Similarities are observed between mechanisms used to establish left-right patterning of the nervous system and visceral organs.

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ReMAPping the microtubule landscape: How phosphorylation dictates the activities of microtubule-associated proteins

  • Pages: 138-155
  • First Published: 04 October 2017
Key Findings

  • Review describing the role of microtubule-associated proteins in the nervous system and how they are regulated by signaling pathways.

Research Articles

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Suppressor of fused controls cerebellar neuronal differentiation in a manner modulated by GLI3 repressor and Fgf15

  • Pages: 156-169
  • First Published: 30 May 2017
Key Findings

  • SuFu promotes the differentiation of cerebellar radial precursors to neurons.
  • GLI3 repressor mediates SuFu function.
  • Fgf15 expression is up-regulated upon deletion of SuFu from cerebellar radial precursors.
  • siRNA mediated knockdown of Fgf15 in SuFu-deficient radial precursors rescues the delay in their differentiation to neurons.

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Ventral neural patterning in the absence of a Shh activity gradient from the floorplate

  • Pages: 170-184
  • First Published: 11 September 2017
Key Findings

  • Using mouse genetics we show that the full range of ventral neural cell type identities can be specified despite the absence of a Shh gradient from the floor plate, provided that pathway repression is reduced.

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Characterization of calbindin D28k expressing interneurons in the ventral horn of the mouse spinal cord

  • Pages: 185-193
  • First Published: 01 November 2017
Key Findings

  • Fewer neurons in the ventral spinal cord express calbindin as postnatal development progresses.
  • Calbindin neurons frequently coexpress other calcium binding proteins (calretinin and parvalbumin) in subpopulations with distinct spatial distributions.
  • A significant portion of calbindin-expressing interneurons receive putative synaptic contacts from primary sensory afferents.


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A morphology independent approach for identifying dividing adult neural stem cells in the mouse hippocampus

  • Pages: 194-200
  • First Published: 07 July 2017
Key Findings

  • This paper provides a quick, reliable and reproducible method to accurately identify adult hippocampus neural stem cells.

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An ex vivo model to quantitatively analyze cell migration in tissue

  • Pages: 201-211
  • First Published: 09 August 2017
Key Findings

  • Ex Vivo model of cell migration; quantitative analysis of cell migration; regional specific analysis of tissue samples.

Patterns & Phenotypes

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Separate and coincident expression of Hes1 and Hes5 in the developing mouse eye

  • Pages: 212-221
  • First Published: 04 July 2017
Key Findings

  • Dynamic Hes5-GFP expression during mouse eye development.
  • Hes1 and Hes5-GFP delineate subpopulations of lens and retinal progenitor cells.
  • Hes5-GFP labels embryonic RGCs and their axons.
  • Hes5-GFP is specifically expressed by adult Muller glia.

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Characterization of Glcci1 expression in a subpopulation of lateral ganglionic eminence progenitors in the mouse telencephalon

  • Pages: 222-228
  • First Published: 26 July 2017
Key Findings

  • Glcci1 is expressed in a high dorsal to low ventral gradient in the LGE.
  • Glcci1 is downstream of Gsx2 in the LGE.
  • Glcci1 is expressed on the basal side of the LGE VZ in the Gsx2 lineage.

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HMGB2 expression is associated with transition from a quiescent to an activated state of adult neural stem cells

  • Pages: 229-238
  • First Published: 02 August 2017
Key Findings

  • Expression of HMGB2 but not HMGB1 is restricted to the subset of NS/PCs.
  • Physical activity increases the proliferation of HMGB2-expressing cells.
  • Aging is associated with a marked decrease in HMGB2-expressing cells.
  • Forced expression of HMGB2 inhibits diazepam-mediated decrease in the aNS/PC proliferation.
  • HMGB2 expression is strongly associated with transition from the quiescent to the proliferative state of NSCs.

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Expression of genes and proteins of the pax-six-eya-dach network in the metamorphic sea urchin: Insights into development of the enigmatic echinoderm body plan and sensory structures

  • Pages: 239-249
  • First Published: 29 August 2017
Key Findings

  • Genes of the Pax-Six-Eya-Dach developmental GRN (PSEDN) are involved in development of the metamorphic sea urchin.
  • In situ localization of PSEDN genes in the hydrocoele lobes, the first morphological expression of pentamery, indicates a role in development of this most unusual bilaterian body plan.
  • Sequential up regulation of gene expression as new podia and spines form indicate a metameric-like pattern.
  • Expression of Pax6, Six 1/2 and Six 3/6 in putative photosensory cells is consistent with the role of these genes in development of photosensory cells, as is localization of opsin, histamine receptor and pax6 protein.

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Regulation of continuous but complex expression pattern of Six1 during early sensory development

  • Pages: 250-261
  • First Published: 06 November 2017
Key Findings

  • The new Cre-expressing mouse line (Six1-21-NLSCre) was established.
  • The Cre line induced genetic recombination in the progenitor domain for otic/epibranchial placodes, olfactory epithelium and Rathke's pouch.
  • The recombination pattern was similar yet distinct from Pax2-Cre/Pax8-Cre lines.
  • The results suggested that the continuous but complex expression pattern of Six1 during sensory organ formation is pieced together by separate enhancers.
  • The Cre line should be useful to understand sensory development.