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Author Notes:

Correspondence to: Iain Shepherd, Department of Biology, Emory University, 1510 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. Phone: 404-727-2632; Fax: 404-727-2880; Email: ishephe@emory.edu

Jochen Holzschuh, Department of Developmental Biology, University of Freiburg, Biology I Hauptstrasse 1, 79104 Freiburg, Germany. Phone: ++49-761-203-2516; Fax: ++49-761-203-2589; Email: jochen.holzschuh@biologie.uni-freiburg.de

We would like to thank: Joseph Freedman and Derek Stensby for technical assistance with this project; Robert Russo for fish maintenance and breeding; Philip DiIorio and Deborah Yelon for providing mutant fish lines; Andreas Fritz and Alan Burns for comments on the manuscript.


Research Funding:

Research was supported by grants from NIH (DK067285) to ITS and Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft Freiburg to JH.


  • Sonic Hedgehog
  • Enteric Nervous System
  • Neural crest
  • Zebrafish
  • cell migration
  • GDNF
  • Hand2

Endoderm derived Sonic hedgehog and mesoderm Hand2 expression are required for enteric nervous system development in Zebrafish


Journal Title:

Developmental Biology


Volume 318, Number 1


, Pages 52-64

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


The zebrafish enteric nervous system (ENS), like those of all other vertebrate species, is principally derived from the vagal neural crest cells (NCC). The developmental controls that govern the migration, proliferation and patterning of the ENS precursors are not well understood. We have investigated the roles of endoderm and Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) in the development of the ENS. We show that endoderm is required for the migration of ENS NCC from the vagal region to the anterior end of the intestine. We show that the expression of shh and its receptor ptc-1 correlate with the development of the ENS and demonstrate that hedgehog (HH) signaling is required in two phases, a pre-enteric and an enteric phase, for normal ENS development. We show that HH signaling regulates the proliferation of vagal NCC and ENS precursors in vivo. We also show the zebrafish hand2 is required for the normal development of the intestinal smooth muscle and the ENS. Furthermore we show that endoderm and HH signaling, but not hand2, regulate gdnf expression in the intestine, highlighting a central role of endoderm and SHH in patterning the intestine and the ENS.

Copyright information:

© 2008 Elsevier

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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