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What changes are seen in the nervous system of organisms as they increase in complexity

The nervous system increases in complexity too. Axons and neurons become aggregated and there is an increase in hierarchical organisation and integration


What is the neural plate and how does it form

The neural plate is a single layered neuroepithelium that is induced from ectoderm on the dorsal side of the embryo that will give rise to the entire nervous system


What broad term describes the cells that surround the neural plate



Complete the diagram below that outlines the two fates of ectoderm during the formation of the neural plate?

See completed diagram


Give an example of a transcription factor which causes the organiser/node to begin expressing BMP antagonists



What is the overall effect of the synthesis and secretion of BMP antagonists from the organiser

The BMP antagonists prevents adjacent cells from receiving the BMP signal and hence form neural plate


What sort of movements does the organiser/node undergo to form the axial mesoderm

Involution intercalation and convergent extension


What are the three tissues that the node/organiser gives rise to

Anterior prechordal mesendoderm prechordal endoderm and notochord


Match up these cell movements with their definitions

A – III B – IV C – VI D – I E – II and F - V


The entire axial mesoderm lies beneath the forebrain T or F

F – the prechordal mesoderm and anterior prechordal mesendoderm lie beneath the forebrain whereas the notochord lies beneath the midbrain hindbrain and spinal cord


Explain why is it that the early induced neural plate is said to be anterior in character

Neural plate is expressing markers that are later confined to the forebrain (telencephalon and diencephalon). This is because BMP antagonists induce neural tissue that has anterior identity


BMP antagonists and Wnt antagonists are maintained anteriorly in the PM T or F



Which signals are expressed posteriorly by the late organiser/node

FGF Wnts and RA


What is the name of the structure that forms at the edge of the neural plate and ectoderm

Neural crest


Which cells migrate laterally and give rise to the peripheral and enteric nervous system

Neural crest cells


What happens to the cells in the dorsal neural tube that don’t migrate laterally and give rise to the peripheral and enteric nervous system

They are retained and form the roof plate


Give an example of a transcription factor induced by BMPs in the neural plate border cells which direct a dorsal cell fate adoption



Briefly describe how the neural tube is ventralised posteriorly

The secreted ligand Sonic hedgehog (Shh) is expressed in notochord and then in floor plate. Shh acts as a morphogen to induce different progenitor cells along the dorso-ventral axis of the future spinal cord. Different transcription factors are induced in bands of progenitor cells along the dorsoventral axis. These are readouts of a Shh morphogen gradient along D-V axis. The transcription factor code dictates later differentiation of the neurons which then move laterally