Ascidian and vertebrate nervous systems share basic characteristics, such as their origin from a neural plate, a tripartite regionalization of the brain, and the expression of similar genes during development. In ascidians, the larval chordate-like nervous system regresses during metamorphosis, and the adult’s neural complex, composed of the cerebral ganglion and the associated neural gland is formed. Classically, the homology of the neural gland with the vertebrate hypophysis has long been debated. We show that in the colonial ascidian Botryllusschlosseri, the primordium of the neural complex consists of the ectodermal neurohypophysial duct, which forms from the left side of the anterior end of the embryonal neural tube. The duct contacts and fuses with the ciliated duct rudiment, a pharyngeal dorsal evagination whose cells exhibit ectodermic markers being covered by a tunic. The neurohypophysial duct then differentiates into the neural gland rudiment whereas its ventral wall begins to proliferate pioneer nerve cells which migrate and converge to make up the cerebral ganglion. The most posterior part of the neural gland differentiates into the dorsal organ, homologous to the dorsal strand. Neurogenetic mechanisms in embryogenesis and vegetative reproduction of B. schlosseri are compared, and the possible homology of the neurohypophysial duct with the olfactory/adenohypophysial/hypothalamic placodes of vertebrates is discussed. In particular, the evidence that neurohypophysial duct cells are able to delaminate and migrate as neuronal cells suggests that the common ancestor of all chordates possessed the precursor of vertebrate neural crest/placode cells.

Mechanism of neurogenewsis during the embryonic development of a Tunicate

MANNI, LUCIA;ZANIOLO, GIOVANNA;BURIGHEL, PAOLO
1999

Abstract

Ascidian and vertebrate nervous systems share basic characteristics, such as their origin from a neural plate, a tripartite regionalization of the brain, and the expression of similar genes during development. In ascidians, the larval chordate-like nervous system regresses during metamorphosis, and the adult’s neural complex, composed of the cerebral ganglion and the associated neural gland is formed. Classically, the homology of the neural gland with the vertebrate hypophysis has long been debated. We show that in the colonial ascidian Botryllusschlosseri, the primordium of the neural complex consists of the ectodermal neurohypophysial duct, which forms from the left side of the anterior end of the embryonal neural tube. The duct contacts and fuses with the ciliated duct rudiment, a pharyngeal dorsal evagination whose cells exhibit ectodermic markers being covered by a tunic. The neurohypophysial duct then differentiates into the neural gland rudiment whereas its ventral wall begins to proliferate pioneer nerve cells which migrate and converge to make up the cerebral ganglion. The most posterior part of the neural gland differentiates into the dorsal organ, homologous to the dorsal strand. Neurogenetic mechanisms in embryogenesis and vegetative reproduction of B. schlosseri are compared, and the possible homology of the neurohypophysial duct with the olfactory/adenohypophysial/hypothalamic placodes of vertebrates is discussed. In particular, the evidence that neurohypophysial duct cells are able to delaminate and migrate as neuronal cells suggests that the common ancestor of all chordates possessed the precursor of vertebrate neural crest/placode cells.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2469297
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