Neural and head induction by Insulin-like growth factor signals

Edgar Pera, Oliver Wessely, Su-Yu Li, Edward De Robertis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Citations (SciVal)


Evidence is presented for a new pathway participating in anterior neural development. It was found that IGF binding protein 5 (IGFBP-5), as well as three IGFs expressed in early embryos, promoted anterior development by increasing the head region at the expense of the trunk in mRNA-injected Xenopus embryos. A secreted dominant-negative type I IGF receptor (DN-IGFR) had the opposite effect. IGF mRNAs led to the induction of ectopic eyes and ectopic head-like structures containing brain tissue. In ectodermal explants, IGF signals induced anterior neural markers in the absence of mesoderm formation and DN-IGFR inhibited neural induction by the BMP antagonist Chordin. Thus, active IGF signals appear to be both required and sufficient for anterior neural induction in Xenopus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-665
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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