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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2001 Feb;2(2):99-108.

Neural plate patterning: upstream and downstream of the isthmic organizer.

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  • 1Institute of Mammalian Genetics, Ingolst├Ądter Landstrasse 1, D-85764 Neuherberg, Germany.


Two organizing centres operate at long-range distances within the anterior neural plate to pattern the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. Important progress has been made in understanding the formation and function of one of these organizing centres, the isthmic organizer, which controls the development of the midbrain and anterior hindbrain. Here we review our current knowledge on the identity, localization and maintenance of the isthmic organizer, as well as on the molecular cascades that underlie the activity of this organizing centre.

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