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Mech Dev. 1992 Dec;39(3):151-60.

Regional expression of the Wnt-3 gene in the developing mouse forebrain in relationship to diencephalic neuromeres.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford Medical School, Stanford University, CA 94305.


During early vertebrate development, a series of neuromeres divides the central nervous system from the forebrain to the spinal cord. Here we examine in more detail the expression of Wnt-3, a member of the Wnt gene family of secreted proteins, in the developing diencephalon, in comparison to the expression of the homeobox gene Dlx-1. In 9.5-day mouse embryos, Wnt-3 is expressed in a restricted area of the diencephalon before any morphological signs of subdivisions appear. Around embryonic day 11.5, Wnt-3 expression becomes restricted to one of the neuromeres of the diencephalon, the dorsal thalamus. Dlx-1 is expressed in a non-overlapping area immediately anterior to and abutting the Wnt-3 expressing domain, corresponding to the ventral thalamus. In addition, Wnt-3 is expressed in the midbrain-hindbrain region. In the adult mouse, Wnt-3 and Dlx-1 are expressed in subsets of neural cells derived from the original areas of expression in the diencephalon. Taken together, our results suggest that Wnt-3 and Dlx-1 provide positional information for the regional specification of neuromeres in the forebrain. The continued expression of these genes in the adult mouse brain suggests a distinct role in the mature CNS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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