Selective requirement of Pax6, but not Emx2, in the specification and development of several nuclei of the amygdaloid complex.
ABSTRACT The amygdaloid complex is a group of nuclei that are thought to originate from multiple sites of the dorsal and ventral telencephalic neuroepithelium. The mechanisms that regulate their development are essentially unknown. We studied the role of Pax6 and Emx2, two transcription factors that regulate regional specification and growth of the telencephalon, in the morphogenesis of the amygdaloid complex. We used a set of specific marker genes that identify distinct amygdaloid nuclei to analyze Pax6/Small eye and Emx2 knock-out mutant mouse brains. We found that there is a selective requirement for Pax6, but not Emx2, in the formation a subset of nuclei within the amygdaloid complex. Specifically, structures that were not previously considered to be developmentally linked, the nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract and the lateral, basolateral, and basomedial nuclei, all appear to have a common requirement for Pax6. Together, our findings provide new insights into the origins and mechanisms underlying the development of the amygdaloid complex.
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ABSTRACT: Many of the genes involved in brain patterning during development are highly conserved in vertebrates and similarities in their expression patterns help to recognize homologous cell types or brain regions. Among these genes, Pax6 and Pax7 are expressed in regionally restricted patterns in the brain and are essential for its development. In the present immunohistochemical study we analyzed the distribution of Pax6 and Pax7 cells in the brain of six representative species of tetrapods and lungfishes, the closest living relatives of tetrapods, at several developmental stages. The distribution patterns of these transcription factors were largely comparable across species. In all species only Pax6 was expressed in the telencephalon, including the olfactory bulbs, septum, striatum, and amygdaloid complex. In the diencephalon, Pax6 and Pax7 were distinct in the alar and basal parts, mainly in prosomeres 1 and 3. Pax7 specifically labeled cells in the optic tectum (superior colliculus) and Pax6, but not Pax7, cells were found in the tegmentum. Pax6 was found in most granule cells of the cerebellum and Pax7 labeling was detected in cells of the ventricular zone of the rostral alar plate and in migrated cells in the basal plate, including the griseum centrale and the interpeduncular nucleus. Caudally, Pax6 cells formed a column, whereas the ventricular zone of the alar plate expressed Pax7. Since the observed Pax6 and Pax7 expression patterns are largely conserved they can be used to identify subdivisions in the brain across vertebrates that are not clearly discernible with classical techniques.Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 08/2014; 8(75):1-20. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In tetrapods, the medial amygdala is a forebrain center that integrates olfactory and/or vomeronasal signals with the endocrine and autonomic systems, playing a key role in different social behaviors. The vomeronasal system has undergone important changes during evolution, which may be behind some interspecies differences in chemosensory-mediated social behavior. These evolutionary changes are associated with variations in vomeronasal-recipient brain structures, including the medial amygdala. Herein, we employed an evolutionary developmental biology approach for trying to understand the function and evolution of the medial amygdala. For that purpose, we reviewed published data on fate mapping in mouse, and the expression of orthologous developmental regulatory genes (Nkx2.1, Lhx6, Shh, Tbr1, Lhx9, Lhx5, Otp, and Pax6) in embryos of mouse, chicken, emydid turtles, and a pipid frog. We also analyzed novel data on Lhx9 and Otp in a lacertid lizard. Based on distinct embryonic origin and genetic profile, at least five neuronal subpopulations exist in the medial amygdala of rodents, expressing either Nkx2.1/Lhx6, Shh, Lhx9, Otp/Lhx5, or Pax6. Each neuronal subpopulation appears involved in different functional pathways. For example, Lhx6 cells are specifically activated by sex pheromones and project to preoptic and hypothalamic centers involved in reproduction. Based on data in nonmammals, at least three of these neuronal subtypes might have been present in the medial amygdala of the amniote common ancestor. During mammalian evolution, the downregulation of Nkx2.1 in the alar hypothalamus may have been a driving force for an increment of the Otp/Lhx5 subpopulation. Anat Rec, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.The Anatomical Record Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology 07/2013; · 1.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The transcription factor Pax6 has been reported to specify neural progenitor cell fates during development and maintain neuronal commitments in the adult. The spatiotemporal patterns of Pax6 expression were examined in sagittal and horizontal sections of the embryonic, postnatal, and adult brains using immunohistochemistry and double immunolabeling. The proportion of Pax6-immunopositive cells in various parts of the adult brain was estimated using the isotropic fractionator methodology. It was shown that at embryonic day 11 (E11) Pax6 was robustly expressed in the proliferative neuroepithelia of the ventricular zone in the forebrain and hindbrain, and in the floor and the mesencephalic reticular formation (mRt) in the midbrain. At E12, its expression emerged in the nucleus of the lateral lemniscus in the rhombencephalon and disappeared from the floor of the midbrain. As neurodevelopment proceeds, the expression pattern of Pax6 changes from the mitotic germinal zone in the ventricular zone to become extensively distributed in cell groups in the forebrain and hindbrain, and the expression persisted in the mRt. The majority of Pax6-positive cell groups were maintained until adult life, but the intensity of Pax6 expression became much weaker. Pax6 expression was maintained in the mitotic subventricular zone in the adult brain, but not in the germinal region dentate gyrus in the adult hippocampus. There was no obvious colocalization of Pax6 and NeuN during embryonic development, suggesting Pax6 is found primarily in developing progenitor cells. In the adult brain, however, Pax6 maintains neuronal features of some subtypes of neurons, as indicated by 97.1% of Pax6-positive cells co-expressing NeuN in the cerebellum, 40.7% in the olfactory bulb, 38.3% in the cerebrum, and 73.9% in the remaining brain except the hippocampus. Differentiated tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) neurons were observed in the floor of the E11 midbrain where Pax6 was also expressed, but no obvious colocaliztion of TH and Pax6 was detected. No Pax6 expression was observed in TH-expressing areas in the midbrain at E12, E14, and postnatal day 1. These results support the notion that Pax6 plays pivotal roles in specifying neural progenitor cell commitments and maintaining certain mature neuronal fates.Brain Structure and Function 02/2012; · 7.84 Impact Factor