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Development. 1993 Aug;118(4):1063-75.

Loss of Hox-A1 (Hox-1.6) function results in the reorganization of the murine hindbrain.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City 84112.


Targeted disruption of the murine hox-A1 gene results in severe defects in the formation of the hindbrain and associated cranial ganglia and nerves. Carbocyanine dye injections were used to trace afferent and efferent projections to and from the hindbrain in hox-A1-/hox-A1- mutant mice. Defects were observed in the position of efferent neurons in the hindbrain and in their projection patterns. In situ hybridization was used to analyze the transcription pattern of genes expressed within specific rhombomeres. Krox-20, int-2 (fgf-3), and hox-B1 all display aberrant patterns of expression in hox-A1- mutant embryos. The observed morphological and molecular defects suggest that there are changes in the formation of the hindbrain extending from rhombomere 3 through rhombomere 8 including the absence of rhombomere 5. Also, motor neurons identified by their axon projection patterns which would normally be present in the missing rhombomere appear to be respecified to or migrate into adjacent rhombomeres, suggesting a role for hox-A1 in the specification of cell identity and/or cell migration in the hindbrain.

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