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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2004 Oct;5(10):808-12.

Mechanisms of roof plate formation in the vertebrate CNS.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago, 920 East 58th Street, CLSC 319, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


The roof plate is an embryonic organizing centre that occupies the dorsal midline of the vertebrate neural tube. During early CNS development, the roof plate produces secreted factors, which control the specification and differentiation of dorsal neuronal cell types. An appreciation of the signalling properties of the roof plate has prompted an enhanced interest in this important organizing centre, and several recent studies have begun to illuminate the molecular mechanisms of roof plate development.

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