Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Advancing our understanding of brain development

Recent research has shed light on a key stage of brain development called brain asymmetry in zebrafish that will help us understand brain function in vertebrates.
Advancing our understanding of brain development
Brain asymmetry occurs when brain cells known as parapineal cells migrate from the midline of the brain. Although scientists know this to be an important step in brain development, the details of how the cells communicate during this process are still unclear.

Recent studies have shown that the Fgf8 gene codes for a signalling molecule called Fgf. Fgf receptor binding with Fgf ligand activates intracellular molecular pathways that enable formation and migration of parapineal cells. The EU-funded project CCMEBAZ investigated in depth the molecular biology aspects of Fgf8 signalling to uncover the role of Fgf signalling in parapineal migration. Another aim was to determine how Fgf regulates its own pathway in neighbouring cells. The researchers found that Fgf signalling occurred via several molecular pathways, including the PI3-Akt pathway, which is known to play a role in cell death.

Another important output of the project was the development of an Fgf reporter cell line. Using these cells, scientists can detect which molecules Fgf interacts with by means of a fluorescent signal.

The CCMEBAZ project has thus successfully expanded our understanding of Fgf signalling in parapineal cells. This work has laid the foundations for further research into the important field of vertebrate brain development.

Related information

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top