How to Find the Correct Markers to Label Neuroepithelial Cells

Below is a guide on how to choose the appropriate markers to label neuroepithelial cells.

The neural plate and the neural tube, during embryonic development, are formed by neuroepithelial (NE) cells that are divided symmetrically. They have particular features of the epithelium, such as tight junctions, and are highly polarized along their apical-basal axis.


Nestin is a protein that appears in NE cells and it is an intermediate filament. Its expression in the cells continues in radial glia until astrocyte development.


SOX2 is related to the neural plate as it is its earliest transcription factor. It is expressed in proliferating cells and those that acquire glial fates, but is downregulated in post-mitotic neurons.


The formation, migration, and differentiation of neural crest cells are regulated by the Notch1 transmembrane receptor.

HES1 and HES3

The symmetrical cell division of the NE cells is sustained with the HES1 and HES3 transcription factors. When NE cells become radial glia, HES3 is downregulated and HES5 is upregulated.


Occludin is lost after neural tube closure prior to neurogenesis. It is a tight junction protein.


A cell adhesion molecule downregulated after neural tube closure prior to neurogenesis.


The SOX10 transcription factor appears in migrating neural crest cells.

References and Further Reading

  • Bylund, M., Andersson, E., Novitch, B. G. & Muhr, J. Vertebrate neurogenesis is counteracted by Sox1-3 activity. Nat Neurosci 6, 1162–1168 (2003).
  • Jessen, K. R. & Mirsky, R. The origin and development of glial cells in peripheral nerves. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 6, 671–82 (2005).
  • Krämer, A. et al. Small molecules intercept Notch signaling and the early secretory pathway. Nat. Chem. Biol. 9, 731–8 (2013).
  • Kageyama, R., Ohtsuka, T. & Kobayashi, T. Roles of Hes genes in neural development. Development Growth and Differentiation 50, (2008).
  • Kriegstein, A. R. & Götz, M. Radial glia diversity: A matter of cell fate. Glia 43, 37–43 (2003).
  • Noisa, P., Lund, C., Kanduri, K., Lund, R. & La, H. Notch signaling regulates the differentiation of neural crest from human pluripotent stem cells. J. Cell Sci. 127, 2083–2094 (2014).
  • Papanayotou, C. et al. A mechanism regulating the onset of Sox2 expression in the embryonic neural plate. Plos Biol 6, e2 (2008).

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Last updated: Jan 30, 2020 at 5:38 AM


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