During vertebrate embryonic development, the spinal cord is formed by the neural derivatives of a neuromesodermal population that is specified at early stages of development and which develops in concert with the caudal regression of the primitive streak. Several processes related to spinal cord specification and maturation are coupled to this caudal extension including neurogenesis, ventral patterning and neural crest specification and all of them seem to be crucially regulated by Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) signaling, which is prominently active in the neuromesodermal region and transiently in its derivatives. Here we review the role of FGF signaling in those processes, trying to separate its different functions and highlighting the interactions with other signaling pathways. Finally, these early functions of FGF signaling in spinal cord development may underlay partly its ability to promote regeneration in the lesioned spinal cord as well as its action promoting specific fates in neural stem cell cultures that may be used for therapeutical purposes.
Diez del Corral, R., & Morales, A. V. (2017). The Multiple Roles of FGF Signaling in the Developing Spinal Cord. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2017.00058