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Gbx2 is essential for maintaining thalamic neuron identity and repressing habenular characters in the developing thalamus
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Gbx2 is essential for maintaining thalamic neuron identity and repressing habenular characters in the developing thalamus

Author: Chatterjee Mallika; Qiuxia Guo; James Y H Li Affiliation: Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, 400 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030-6403, United States
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Developmental Biology, v407 n1 (2015-11-01): 26-39
Summary:
The thalamus and habenula, two important nodes of the forebrain circuitry, are derived from a single developmental compartment, called prosomere 2, in the diencephalon. Habenular and thalamic neurons display distinct molecular identity, neurochemistry, and connectivity. Furthermore, their progenitors exhibit distinctive neurogenic patterns with a marked delay in the onset of neurogenesis in the thalamus. However,  Read more...
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Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Chatterjee Mallika; Qiuxia Guo; James Y H Li Affiliation: Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, 400 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030-6403, United States
ISSN:0012-1606
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5913930043
Awards:

Abstract:

The thalamus and habenula, two important nodes of the forebrain circuitry, are derived from a single developmental compartment, called prosomere 2, in the diencephalon. Habenular and thalamic neurons display distinct molecular identity, neurochemistry, and connectivity. Furthermore, their progenitors exhibit distinctive neurogenic patterns with a marked delay in the onset of neurogenesis in the thalamus. However, the progenitors in prosomere 2 express many common developmental regulators and the mechanism underlying the specification and differentiation of these two populations of neurons remains unknown. Gbx2, coding for a homeodomain transcription factor, is initially expressed in thalamic neuronal precursors that have just exited the cell cycle, and its expression is maintained in many mature thalamic neurons in adults. Deletion of Gbx2 severely disrupts histogenesis of the thalamus and abolishes thalamocortical projections in mice. Here, by using genome-wide transcriptional profiling, we show that Gbx2 promotes thalamic but inhibits habenular molecular characters. Remarkably, although Gbx2 is expressed in postmitotic neuronal precursors, deletion of Gbx2 changes gene expression and cell proliferation in dividing progenitors in the developing thalamus. These defects are partially rescued by the mosaic presence of wild-type cells, demonstrating a cell non-autonomous role of Gbx2 in regulating the development of thalamic progenitors. Our results suggest that Gbx2 is essential for the acquisition of the thalamic neuronal identity by repressing habenular identity through a feedback signaling from postmitotic neurons to progenitors.

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