Kim SK, Hebrok M, Melton DA. 1997. Notochord to endoderm signaling is required for pancreas development. Development (Cambridge, England). 124(21):4243-52. Pubmed: 9334273


The role of the notochord in inducing and patterning adjacent neural and mesodermal tissues is well established. We provide evidence that the notochord is also required for one of the earliest known steps in the development of the pancreas, an endodermally derived organ. At a developmental stage in chick embryos when the notochord touches the endoderm, removal of notochord eliminates subsequent expression of several markers of dorsal pancreas bud development, including insulin, glucagon and carboxypeptidase A. Pancreatic gene expression can be initiated and maintained in prepancreatic chick endoderm grown in vitro with notochord. Non-pancreatic endoderm, however, does not express pancreatic genes when recombined with the same notochord. The results suggest that the notochord provides a permissive signal to endoderm to specify pancreatic fate in a stepwise manner.

Related Faculty

Photo of Doug Melton

Doug Melton is pursuing a cure for type 1 diabetes. His lab studies the developmental biology of the pancreas, using that information to grow and develop pancreatic cells (islets of Langerhans). In parallel, they investigate ways to protect beta cells from autoimmune attack.

Search Menu