Delta/Jagged-mediated Notch signaling induces the differentiation of agr2-positive epidermal mucous cells in zebrafish embryos
- Author：Yu-Fen Lu, Da-Wei Liu, I-Chen Li, Jamie Lin, Chien-Ming Wang, Kuo- Chang Chu, Hsiao-Hui Kuo, Che-Yi
- Journal： Journal : PLoS Genet 2021, Dec 28; 17(12): e1009969. https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1009969
Teleosts live in aquatic habitats, where they encounter ionic and acid-base fluctuations as well as infectious pathogens. To protect from these external challenges, the teleost epidermis is composed of living cells, including keratinocytes and ionocytes that maintain body fluid ionic homeostasis, and mucous cells that secret mucus. While ionocyte progenitors are known to be specified by Delta-Notch-mediated lateral inhibition during late gastrulation and early segmentation, it remains unclear how epidermal mucous cells (EMCs) are differentiated and maintained. Here, we show that Delta/Jagged-mediated activation of Notch signaling induces the differentiation of agr2-positive (agr2+) EMCs in zebrafish embryos during segmentation. We demonstrated that agr2+ EMCs contain cytoplasmic secretory granules and express muc5.1 and muc5.2. Reductions in agr2+ EMC number were observed in mib mutants and notch3 MOs-injected notch1a mutants, while increases in agr2+ cell number were detected in notch1a- and X-Su(H)/ANK-overexpressing embryos. Treatment with -secretase inhibitors further revealed that Notch signaling is required during bud to 15 hpf for the differentiation of agr2+ EMCs. Increased agr2+ EMC numbers were also observed in jag1a-, jag1b-, jag2a- and dlc-overexpressing, but not jag2b-overexpressing embryos. Meanwhile, reductions in agr2+ EMC numbers were detected in jag1a morphants, jag1b mutants, jag2a mutants and dlc morphants, but not jag2b mutants. Reduced numbers of pvalb8-positive epidermal cells were also observed in mib or jag2a mutants and jag1a or jag1b morphants, while increased pvalb8-positive epidermal cell numbers were detected in notch1a-overexpressing, but not dlc-overexpressing embryos. BrdU labeling further revealed that the agr2+ EMC population is maintained by proliferation. Cell lineage experiments showed that agr2+ EMCs are derived from the same ectodermal precursors as keratinocytes or ionocytes. Together, our results indicate that specification of agr2+ EMCs in zebrafish embryos is induced by DeltaC/Jagged-dependent activation of Notch1a/3 signaling, and the cell population is maintained by proliferation.