Thyroid hormone promotes neurogenesis in the Xenopus spinal cord

Gerhard Schlosser, Naoko Koyano-Nakagawa, Chris Kintner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Three phases of neurogenesis can be recognized during Xenopus spinal cord development. An early peak during gastrulation/neurulation is followed by a phase of low level neurogenesis throughout the remaining embryonic stages and a later peak at early larval stages. We show here that several genes known to be essential for early neurogenesis (X-NGNR-1, XNeuroD, XMyT1, X-Delta-1) are also expressed during later phases of neurogenesis in the spinal cord, suggesting that they are involved in regulating spinal neurogenesis at later stages. However, additional neuronal determination genes may be important during larval stages, because X-NGNR-1 shows only scant expression in the spinal cord during larval stages. Thyroid hormone treatment of early larvae promotes neurogenesis in the spinal cord, where thyroid hormone receptor xTRα is expressed from early larval stages onward and results in precocious up-regulation of XNeuroD, XMyT1, and N-Tubulin expression. Similarly, thyroid hormone treatments of Xenopus embryos, which were coinjected with xTRα and the retinoid X receptor xRXRα, repeatedly resulted in increased numbers of neurons, whereas unliganded receptors repressed neurogenesis. Our findings show that thyroid hormones are sufficient to up-regulate neurogenesis in the Xenopus spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-498
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


  • MyT1
  • NeuroD
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neurogenin
  • Spinal cord
  • Thyroid hormone receptor
  • Xenopus laevis


Dive into the research topics of 'Thyroid hormone promotes neurogenesis in the Xenopus spinal cord'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this