The transcriptomic landscape of caudal cell mass in different developmental stages of the chick embryo

Seungbok Lee, Kyung Hyun Kim, Eun Sun Lee, Veronica Jihyun Kim, Saet Pyoul Kim, Saeli Ban, Kyu Chang Wang, Ji Yeoun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The caudal cell mass (CCM) is an aggregate of undifferentiated pluripotent cells and the main player in secondary neurulation. Previous studies have elucidated the dynamic fate of the multipotent cell lineages, with a recent interest in the neuromesodermal progenitors. However, a transcriptomic analysis of the CCM during secondary neurulation has not been performed yet. Methods: We analyzed RNA sequencing data of CCM samples at three different developmental stages of chicken embryos; HH16 (largest CCM phase), HH20 (secondary neural tube formation phase), and HH28 (degeneration phase). Results: The transcriptomic profiles were clearly distinguishable according to developmental stage, and HH20 was shown to have not only intermediate, but also unique properties in secondary neurulation. A total of 10,666 differentially expressed genes, including FGF18 and GDF11, were identified and enriched in several gene ontologies related to embryogenesis or organogenesis. We also found that genes encoding transcription factors, such as TWIST2, IRX4, HOXB4, HOXD13, LIN28A, CDX4, and Brachyury, were among the top-ranked differentially expressed genes. Conclusion: Through transcriptomic profiling, we provided a picture of the developmental process of the CCM. We identified several key molecules or pathways involved in secondary neurulation and the pathogenesis of related diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2101-2111
Number of pages11
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Embryogenesis
  • RNA sequencing
  • Secondary neurulation
  • Tail bud


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