Identification of the Time Period during Which BMP Signaling Regulates Proliferation of Neural Progenitor Cells in Zebrafish

Hung Yu Shih, Chia Wei Chang, Yi Chieh Chen, Yi Chuan Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

1 Scopus citations


Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling regulates neural induction, neuronal specification, and neuronal differentiation. However, the role of BMP signaling in neural progenitors remains unclear. This is because interruption of BMP signaling before or during neural induction causes severe effects on subsequent neural developmental processes. To examine the role of BMP signaling in the development of neural progenitors in zebrafish, we bypassed the effect of BMP signaling on neural induction and suppressed BMP signaling at different time points during gastrulation using a temporally controlled transgenic line carrying a dominant-negative form of Bmp receptor type 1aa and a chemical inhibitor of BMP signaling, DMH1. Inhibiting BMP signaling from 8 hpf could bypass BMP regulation on neural induction, induce the number of proliferating neural progenitors, and reduce the number of neuronal precursors. Inhibiting BMP signaling upregulates the expression of the Notch downstream gene hairy/E(spl)-related 2 (her2). Inhibiting Notch signaling or knocking down the Her2 function reduced neural progenitor proliferation, whereas inactivating BMP signaling in Notch-Her2 deficient background restored the number of proliferating neural progenitors. These results reveal the time window for the proliferation of neural progenitors during zebrafish development and a fine balance between BMP and Notch signaling in regulating the proliferation of neural progenitor cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1733
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 01 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • BMP
  • Notch
  • neural progenitors
  • zebrafish
  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins/genetics
  • Neural Stem Cells/metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Zebrafish/genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics


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