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J Mol Endocrinol. 2004 Oct;33(2):467-76.

Thyroid hormone signaling is highly heterogeneous during pre- and postnatal brain development.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, UMR CNRS 5665 LA INRA 913, IFR128 Lyon Gerland, 46 allée d'Italie, 69364 Lyon 07 France.


We have generated transgenic reporter mice to analyze the spatio-temporal distribution of thyroid hormone signaling during mouse brain development. The reporter system, utilizing a chimeric yeast Gal4 DNA-binding domain-thyroid hormone alpha ligand-binding domain fusion protein to drive lacZ expression, revealed that thyroid hormone signaling starts in the midbrain roof several days before the onset of thyroid gland function, and that it remains highly heterogeneous in the central nervous system throughout pre- and postnatal development. We speculate that this heterogeneity might provide neural cells with positional information during development.

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