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Ascl1 and Helt act combinatorially to specify thalamic neuronal identity by repressing Dlxs activation.
Dev. Biol. 398, 280-291 (2015)
The mammalian thalamus is an essential diencephalic derivative that plays unique roles in processing and relaying sensory and motor information to and from the cerebral cortex. The profile of transcription factors and lineage tracing experiments revealed a spatiotemporal relationship between diencephalic progenitor domains and discrete differentiated neurons contributing to thalamic nuclei. However, the precise molecular mechanisms by which heterogeneous thalamic neurons become specified and assemble into distinct thalamic nuclei are still poorly understood. Here, we show that a combinatorial interaction between the bHLH transcription factors Ascl1 and Helt is required for acquiring thalamic progenitor identity. Surprisingly, in the combined absence of Ascl1 and Helt, rostral thalamic progenitors (TH-R) adopt a molecular profile of a more rostral diencephalic derivative, the prethalamus. Furthermore, we show that the prethalamic factors Dlxs upregulated by Ascl1/. Helt deficiency play unique roles in regulating thalamic progenitor specification, and that derepression of Dlx2 and Dlx5 suppress generation of TH-R neurons. Taken together, our results suggest a model whereby the combined activity of two distinct bHLH factors plays a key role in the development of discrete classes of thalamic interneurons.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Ascl1 ; Dlx ; Helt ; Thalamus; Zona Limitans Intrathalamica; Midbrain Gabaergic Neurons; Embryonic Mouse Thalamus; Homeobox Genes; Sonic Hedgehog; Expression Patterns; Regional Identity; Progenitor Cells; Differentiation; Forebrain
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0012-1606
Journal Developmental Biology
Quellenangaben Volume: 398, Issue: 2, Pages: 280-291
Publishing Place San Diego
Reviewing status Peer reviewed