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Nat Neurosci. 2004 Jun;7(6):589-95. Epub 2004 May 9.

Ascl1/Mash1 is required for the development of central serotonergic neurons.

Author information

1
CNRS UMR 8542, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 75005 Paris, France.

Abstract

The transcriptional control of the differentiation of central serotonergic (5-HT) neurons in vertebrates has recently come under scrutiny and has been shown to involve the homeobox genes Nkx2-2 and Lmx1b, the Ets-domain gene Pet1 (also known as Fev) and the zinc-finger gene Gata3. The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) gene Ascl1 (also known as Mash1) is coexpressed with Nkx2-2 in the neuroepithelial domain of the hindbrain, which gives rise to 5-HT neurons. Here we show in the mouse that Ascl1 is essential for the birth of 5-HT neurons, both as a proneural gene for the production of postmitotic neuronal precursors and as a determinant of the serotonergic phenotype for the parallel activation of Gata3, Lmx1b and Pet1. Thus Ascl1, which is essential for noradrenergic differentiation, is also a determinant of the serotonergic phenotype.

PMID:
15133515
DOI:
10.1038/nn1247
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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