Early Neocortical Regionalization in the Absence of Thalamic Innervation

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Science  06 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5429, pp. 906-909
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5429.906

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There is a long-standing controversy regarding the mechanisms that generate the functional subdivisions of the cerebral neocortex. One model proposes that thalamic axonal input specifies these subdivisions; the competing model postulates that patterning mechanisms intrinsic to the dorsal telencephalon generate neocortical regions. Gbx-2mutant mice, whose thalamic differentiation is disrupted, were investigated. Despite the lack of cortical innervation by thalamic axons, neocortical region–specific gene expression (Cadherin-6, EphA-7, Id-2, andRZR-beta) developed normally. This provides evidence that patterning mechanisms intrinsic to the neocortex specify the basic organization of its functional subdivisions.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jlrr{at}

  • Present address: Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health Building 18T, Room 101, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

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