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Nat Neurosci. 2008 Apr;11(4):417-9. doi: 10.1038/nn2050. Epub 2008 Mar 16.

Redefining the serotonergic system by genetic lineage.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Central serotonin-producing neurons are heterogeneous-differing in location, morphology, neurotoxin sensitivity and associated clinical disorders-but the underpinnings of this heterogeneity are largely unknown, as are the markers that distinguish physiological subtypes of serotonergic neurons. Here we redefined serotonergic subtypes on the basis of genetic programs that are differentially enacted in progenitor cells. We uncovered a molecular framework for the serotonergic system that, having genetic lineages as its basis, is likely to have physiological relevance and will permit access to genetically defined subtypes for manipulation.

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