Research Article

Neocortex Patterning by the Secreted Signaling Molecule FGF8

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Science  02 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5544, pp. 1071-1074
DOI: 10.1126/science.1064252

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A classic model proposes that the mammalian neocortex is divided into areas early in neurogenesis, but the molecular mechanisms that generate the area map have been elusive. Here we provide evidence that FGF8 regulates development of the map from a source in the anterior telencephalon. Using electroporation-mediated gene transfer in mouse embryos, we show that augmenting the endogenous anterior FGF8 signal shifts area boundaries posteriorly, reducing the signal shifts them anteriorly, and introducing a posterior source of FGF8 elicits partial area duplications, revealed by ectopic somatosensory barrel fields. These findings support a role for FGF signaling in specifying positional identity in the neocortex.

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