During organogenesis, Sonic hedgehog (Shh) possesses dual functions: Shh emanating from midline structures regulates the positioning of bilateral structures at early stages, whereas organ-specific Shh locally regulates organ morphogenesis at later stages. The mesonephros is a transient embryonic kidney in amniote, whereas it becomes definitive adult kidney in some anamniotes. Thus, elucidating the regulation of mesonephros formation has important implications for our understanding of kidney development and evolution. In Shh knockout (KO) mutant mice, the mesonephros was displaced towards the midline and ectopic mesonephric tubules (MTs) were present in the caudal mesonephros. Mesonephros-specific ablation of Shh in Hoxb7-Cre;Shhflox/- and Sall1CreERT2/+;Shhflox/- mice embryos indicated that Shh expressed in the mesonephros was not required for either the development of the mesonephros or the differentiation of the male reproductive tract. Moreover, stage-specific ablation of Shh in ShhCreERT2/flox mice showed that notochord- and/or floor plate-derived Shh were essential for the regulation of the number and position of MTs. Lineage analysis of hedgehog (Hh)-responsive cells, and analysis of gene expression in Shh KO embryos suggested that Shh regulated nephrogenic gene expression indirectly, possibly through effects on the paraxial mesoderm. These data demonstrate the essential role of midline-derived Shh in local tissue morphogenesis and differentiation. © 2013 The Authors.
Murashima, A., Akita, H., Okazawa, M., Kishigami, S., Nakagata, N., Nishinakamura, R., & Yamada, G. (2014). Midline-derived shh regulates mesonephric tubule formation through the paraxial mesoderm. Developmental Biology, 386(1), 216–226. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.12.026