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Regulation of Area Identity in the Mammalian Neocortex by Emx2 and Pax6

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Science  14 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5464, pp. 344-349
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5464.344

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Abstract

The contribution of extrinsic and genetic mechanisms in determining areas of the mammalian neocortex has been a contested issue. This study analyzes the roles of the regulatory genesEmx2 and Pax6, which are expressed in opposing gradients in the neocortical ventricular zone, in specifying areas. Changes in the patterning of molecular markers and area-specific connections between the cortex and thalamus suggest that arealization of the neocortex is disproportionately altered in Emx2 andPax6 mutant mice in opposing manners predicted from their countergradients of expression: rostral areas expand and caudal areas contract in Emx2 mutants, whereas the opposite effect is seen in Pax6 mutants. These findings suggest thatEmx2 and Pax6 cooperate to regulate arealization of the neocortex and to confer area identity to cortical cells.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: doleary{at}salk.edu

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