Citation

Arlotta P, Molyneaux BJ, Chen J, Inoue J, Kominami R, Macklis JD. 2005. Neuronal subtype-specific genes that control corticospinal motor neuron development in vivo. Neuron. 45(2):207-21. Pubmed: 15664173

Abstract

Within the vertebrate nervous system, the presence of many different lineages of neurons and glia complicates the molecular characterization of single neuronal populations. In order to elucidate molecular mechanisms underlying the specification and development of corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN), we purified CSMN at distinct stages of development in vivo and compared their gene expression to two other pure populations of cortical projection neurons: callosal projection neurons and corticotectal projection neurons. We found genes that are potentially instructive for CSMN development, as well as genes that are excluded from CSMN and are restricted to other populations of neurons, even within the same cortical layer. Loss-of-function experiments in null mutant mice for Ctip2 (also known as Bcl11b), one of the newly characterized genes, demonstrate that it plays a critical role in the development of CSMN axonal projections to the spinal cord in vivo, confirming that we identified central genetic determinants of the CSMN population.

Related Faculty

Photo of Paola Arlotta

Dr. Arlotta is interested in understanding the molecular laws that govern the birth, differentiation and assembly of the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that controls how we sense, move and think. She integrates developmental and evolutionary knowledge to investigate therapies for brain repair and for modeling neuropsychiatric disease.

Photo of Jeffrey D. Macklis

Jeffrey Macklis investigates molecular controls and mechanisms over neuron subtype specification, development, diversity, axon guidance-circuit formation, and pathology in the cerebral cortex. His lab seeks to apply developmental controls toward brain and spinal cord regeneration and directed differentiation for therapeutic and mechanistic screening.

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