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Development. 1999 Apr;126(8):1601-9.

The flat-top gene is required for the expansion and regionalization of the telencephalic primordium.

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Department of Genetics, Box 3568, Duke University Medical Centre, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


The telencephalic vesicles form in the mouse embryo by the expansion of precursor regions in the anterior neural tube. Once the vesicles have formed, discrete dorsal and ventral territories can be recognized that later give rise to cortical and subcortical structures, respectively. To investigate the mechanisms that regulate the expansion and regionalization of the telencephalon, we have carried out a screen to identify recessive mutations that disrupt these events. We isolated a mouse mutant in which an early and critical step in development of the telencephalic vesicles is disrupted. Telencephalic primordia are present in flat-top embryos but they fail to progress to form the telencephalic vesicles. An increased rate of proliferation in the forebrain neurectoderm that accompanies telencephalic expansion in wild-type embryos fails to occur in flat-top embryos. Regionalization events that would normally take place during expansion of the primordia also fail to occur. Thus the phenotype of the flat-top mouse reveals that outgrowth of the telencephalic vesicles and their regionalization are coupled processes.

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