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Published April 15, 1994 | metadata_only
Journal Article

A dual embryonic origin for vertebrate mechanoreceptors


Neuromasts, the mechanoreceptors of the lateral line system of fishes and aquatic amphibians, have previously been thought to develop exclusively from embryonic epidermal placodes. Use of fate mapping techniques shows that neuromasts of the head and body of zebrafish, Siamese fighting fish, and Xenopus are also derived from neural crest. Neural crest migrates away from the neural tube in developing vertebrates to form much of the peripheral nervous system, pigment cells, and skeletal elements of the head. The data presented here demonstrate that neuromasts are derived from both neural crest and epidermal placodes.

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© 1994 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 21 June 1993; Accepted 3 March 1994. We thank R. G. Northcutt, M. Bronner-Fraser, S. Cohen-Cory, C. Gans, J. Shih, G. N. Serbedzija, and S. C. Smith for comments. Supported in part by NSF grant 8821241 and AAFD and RSCA grants from San Diego State University (to P.M.M.), USPHS grants HD25138(to M. Bronner-Fraser) and HD26864 (to S.E.F.), and a fellowship from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (to A.C.).

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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023