OBJECTIVE: Sonic hedgehog(SHH) is early expressed in the floor plate and notochord during the development of chicken embryo, which is required for the establishment of dorsal axis and the formation of spinal cord, but the mechanism of SHH affecting the patterns of spinal development is still unclear.
METHODS: In this study using in vivo electroporation ectopic expression of SHH in spinal cord of dorsal regions during chicken embryo development. Besides, the expression of NF, TAG, Pax-7 and N-Cadherin was examined by the fluorescent immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: The result showed that the pattern of spinal cord development changed such as the distortion was observed during the chicken embryo development, and the location of dorsal root transforms from the original site to the roof plate, and neuroepithelial cell layer at the roof plate creased. Furthermore, the expression of nuclear protein Pax-7 was inhibited at the site of SHH ectopic and the expression site of neurofilament(NF) and TAG-1 changed, while the expression of SC-1 was down-regulated.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that SHH may be directly required for the formation of spinal patterns or affect the formation of spinal cord through regulating the associated proteins and more important is SHH promote the neuroepithelial cells proliferation and then lead to neural plate to form the neural tube. This study could provide reliable references for the research on SHH determining the formation of spinal cord during the development of chicken embryo.