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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2005 Mar;6(3):230-40.

The floor plate: multiple cells, multiple signals.

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  • 1Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics, Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.


One of the key organizers in the CNS is the floor plate - a group of cells that is responsible for instructing neural cells to acquire distinctive fates, and that has an important role in establishing the elaborate neuronal networks that underlie the function of the brain and spinal cord. In recent years, considerable controversy has arisen over the mechanism by which floor plate cells form. Here, we describe recent evidence that indicates that discrete populations of floor plate cells, with characteristic molecular properties, form in different regions of the neuraxis, and we discuss data that imply that the mode of floor plate induction varies along the anteroposterior axis.

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