Midline nasal tissue influences nestin expression in nasal-placode-derived luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone neurons during development. Academic Article uri icon


  • Neurons differentiating into the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) neuroendocrine phenotype are derived from the nasal placode. Cells within the vomeronasal organ anlage that turn on LHRH gene and peptide expression subsequently migrate into the forebrain where they influence reproductive function. The molecular and cellular cues regulating differentiation and migration of these cells are unknown. Discovery of developmental markers can indicate proteins directing or associated with differentiation. Analysis of such markers after manipulation of external cues can elucidate important extracellular differentiation signals. Embryonic LHRH neurons were examined in vivo for Mash-1 and nestin, two factors that delineate precursor populations in PNS and forebrain CNS cells. Nestin, but not Mash-1, was detected in early expressing LHRH cells in the vomeronasal organ anlage. These results were duplicated in LHRH neurons maintained in vitro in nasal explants. Such LHRH cells expressed nestin mRNA but not Mash-1 mRNA and were also negative for three other olfactory epithelial developmental transcription factors, Math4A, Math4C/neurogenin1, and NeuroD mRNA. Experimental manipulation of nasal explants revealed dual expression of nestin protein and LHRH in cells proximal to the vomeronasal organ anlage that was dependent upon midline cartilaginous/mesenchymal tissues. Prolonged nestin expression in LHRH cells after midline removal is consistent with nasal midline tissues modulating differentiation of LHRH neurons from the nasal placode.

published proceedings

  • Dev Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Kramer, P. R., & Wray, S.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Kramer, PR||Wray, S

publication date

  • January 2000