Rouaux C, Arlotta P. 2010. Fezf2 directs the differentiation of corticofugal neurons from striatal progenitors in vivo. Nature neuroscience. 13(11):1345-7. Pubmed: 20953195 DOI:10.1038/nn.2658


In the developing cerebral cortex, cell-extrinsic and cell-intrinsic signals govern the establishment of neuron subtype-specific identity. Here we show that, within the niche of the striatum, the expression of a single transcription factor, Fezf2, is sufficient to generate corticofugal neurons from progenitors fated to become medium spiny neurons. This demonstrates that a specific population of cortical projection neurons can be directed to differentiate outside of the cortex by cell-autonomous signaling.

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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.

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