Secondary neurulation is an embryonic progress that gives rise to the secondary neural tube, the precursor of the lower spinal cord region. The secondary neural tube is derived from aggregated Sox2-expressing neural cells at the dorsal region of the tail bud, which eventually forms rosette or tube-like structures to give rise to neural tissues in the tail bud. We addressed whether the embryonic tail contains neural stem cells (NSCs), namely secondary NSCs (sNSCs), with the potential for self-renewal in vitro. Using in vitro neurosphere assays, neurospheres readily formed at the rosette and neural-tube levels, but less frequently at the tail bud tip level. Furthermore, we identified that sNSC-generated neurospheres were significantly smaller in size compared with cortical neurospheres. Interestingly, various cell cycle analyses revealed that this difference was not due to a reduction in the proliferation rate of NSCs, but rather the neuronal commitment of sNSCs, as sNSC-derived neurospheres contain more committed neuronal progenitor cells, even in the presence of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). These results suggest that the higher tendency for sNSCs to spontaneously differentiate into progenitor cells may explain the limited expansion of the secondary neural tube during embryonic development.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology