The foundation for the anatomical and functional complexity of the vertebrate central nervous system is laid during embryogenesis. After Spemann's organizer and its derivatives have endowed the neural plate with a coarse pattern along its anteroposterior and mediolateral axes, this basis is progressively refined by the activity of secondary organizers within the neuroepithelium that function by releasing diffusible signaling factors. Dorsoventral patterning is mediated by two organizer regions that extend along the dorsal and ventral midlines of the entire neuraxis, whereas anteroposterior patterning is controlled by several discrete organizers. Here we review how these secondary organizers are established and how they exert their signaling functions. Organizer signals come from a surprisingly limited set of signaling factor families, indicating that the competence of target cells to respond to those signals plays an important part in neural patterning.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error