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Neuroscience. 2006 Nov 3;142(4):1133-43. Epub 2006 Sep 14.

Regionalized cadherin-7 expression by radial glia is regulated by Shh and Pax7 during chicken spinal cord development.

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  • 1Institute of Anatomy I, Friedrich Schiller University, Teichgraben 7, D-07740 Jena, Germany.


During development, several genes that specify neuronal subtype identity are expressed in distinct dorsoventral domains of the spinal cord and hindbrain. Cadherin-7 (Cad7), a member of the cadherin family of adhesion molecules, is expressed by radial glia in a dorsal domain of the spinal cord basal plate in chicken. To study the regulation of the Cad7 gene, we ectopically expressed two known dorsoventral patterning genes, Shh and Pax7, in the caudal neural tube and in two brain regions at different stages of development by in vivo electroporation. Results showed that Shh regulated the expression of Cad7 by radial glia in a concentration-dependent manner. Shh induced or repressed the expression of Cad7, at low and high concentrations, respectively. Furthermore, Pax7 inhibited the expression of Cad7. These results are compatible with a role of Shh and Pax7 in regulating endogenous Cad7 expression during spinal cord and hindbrain development. Our data show, for the first time, that Shh can regulate the expression not only of other gene regulatory factors, but also of Cad7, a morphoregulatory molecule that plays a role in axon elongation and neural circuit formation.

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