Immunohistochemical Detection of BMP-2 and BMP-4 in the Developing Neural Tube and Spinal Cord of Human Embryos

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Namm, Aimar; Arend, Andres & Aunapuu, Marina


The role of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP-s) in the development of the nervous system has been widely studied on avian and rodent embryos. Human embryos have rarely been available for detection of BMP expression. In this study 39 human embryos of Carnegie stages (CS) 10-20 were investigated. The embryos were fixed in paraformaldehyde, embedded in paraffin and sectioned serially in transverse direction. BMP-2 and BMP-4 protein expression in the developing neural tube and the caudal spinal cord was determined by immunohistochemistry. Our data show that BMP-s tend to be more expressed in the neural tube in earlier stages; in particular, BMP-4 staining was found to be higher at CS10 compared to CS20. More detailed analysis was performed on embryos of CS14-18. Stronger BMP-2 and BMP-4 expression was found in the dorsal part than in the ventral part of the spinal cord. No differences were seen in the staining intensity of BMP-s in the spinal ganglia. Interestingly, in neural crest cells BMP-2 staining was stronger at CS16 and CS18 as compared to CS14, while no differences were found in BMP-4 staining. On the other hand, in the non-neural ectoderm BMP-4 staining was found to be stronger at CS16 than at CS14, while no differences were seen for BMP-2. In conclusion, expression of BMP-s in the developing neural tube and spinal cord of human embryos is generally in accordance with the findings made in rodents and birds.

KEY WORDS: Neural tube; Human embryo; BMP-2, BMP-4; Immunohistochemistry.

How to cite this article

STAKA, G.; DISHA, M. & DRAGIDELLA, F. Cephalic and facial indices among Kosovo-Albanian Pupulation. Int. J. Morphol., 31(2):468-472, 2013.