Study of pallial neurogenesis in shark embryos and the evolutionary origin of the subventricular zone

A Docampo-Seara, R Lagadec, S Mazan, M A Rodríguez, I Quintana-Urzainqui, E Candal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The dorsal part of the developing telencephalon is one of the brain areas that has suffered most drastic changes throughout vertebrate evolution. Its evolutionary increase in complexity was thought to be partly achieved by the appearance of a new neurogenic niche in the embryonic subventricular zone (SVZ). Here, a new kind of amplifying progenitors (basal progenitors) expressing Tbr2, undergo a second round of divisions, which is believed to have contributed to the expansion of the neocortex. Accordingly, the existence of a pallial SVZ has been classically considered exclusive of mammals. However, the lack of studies in ancient vertebrates precludes any clear conclusion about the evolutionary origin of the SVZ and the neurogenic mechanisms that rule pallial development. In this work, we explore pallial neurogenesis in a basal vertebrate, the shark Scyliorhinus canicula, through the study of the expression patterns of several neurogenic markers. We found that apical progenitors and radial migration are present in sharks, and therefore, their presence must be highly conserved throughout evolution. Surprisingly, we detected a subventricular band of ScTbr2-expressing cells, some of which also expressed mitotic markers, indicating that the existence of basal progenitors should be considered an ancestral condition rather than a novelty of mammals or amniotes. Finally, we report that the transcriptional program for the specification of glutamatergic pallial cells (Pax6, Tbr2, NeuroD, Tbr1) is also present in sharks. However, the segregation of these markers into different cell types is not clear yet, which may be linked to the lack of layering in anamniotes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Structure and Function
Early online date6 Jul 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jul 2018


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