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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2007 Feb;17(1):3-14. Epub 2007 Feb 1.

Commissure formation in the mammalian forebrain.

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The University of Queensland, School of Biomedical Sciences and The Queensland Brain Institute, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia.


Commissural formation in the mammalian brain is highly organised and regulated both by the cell-autonomous expression of transcription factors, and by non-cell-autonomous mechanisms including the formation of midline glial structures and their expression of specific axon guidance molecules. These mechanisms channel axons into the correct path and enable the subsequent connection of specific brain areas to their appropriate targets. Several key findings have been made over the past two years, including the discovery of novel mechanisms of action that 'classical' guidance factors such as the Slits, Netrins, and their receptors have in axon guidance. Moreover, novel guidance factors such as members of the Wnt family, and extracellular matrix components such as heparan sulphate proteoglycans, have been shown to be important for mammalian brain commissure formation. Additionally, there have been significant discoveries regarding the role of FGF signalling in the formation of midline glial structures. In this review, we discuss the most recent advances in the field that have contributed to our current understanding of commissural development in the telencephalon.

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