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Ventral Neural Tube Patternng: Role of Shh


Sonic hedgehog protein (Shh) made by the notochord and later floor plate specifies ventral cell fates in the developing spinal cord, including those of ventral interneurons and motor neurons.

Stanislav Kholmanskikh. Created for Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

What is the mechanism of Shh action in ventral patterning?


Shh makes cells competent to become ventral neurons as they migrate from floor plate dorsally.


Shh is expressed on the cell surface of floor plate cells that via direct cell-cell contact signal to adjacent cells to become V3 neurons. V3 neurons in turn propagate cell fate induction signaling further dorsally to trigger specification of motor neurons etc.


Shh is a secreted protein present in the equal concentrations across neural tube. Interaction of Shh with a dorsoventral gradient of another cell fate specifying molecule Wnt generates cell types found in the spinal cord.


Shh is a secreted molecule that establishes a ventrodorsal gradient in the developing spinal cord. Progressive two- to threefold changes in Shh concentration from high next to floor plate to low towards roof plate generate five molecularly distinct classes of ventral neurons from neural progenitor cells.