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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2009 Dec;21(6):741-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Oct 31.

Rautenlippe Redux -- toward a unified view of the precerebellar rhombic lip.

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Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The rhombic lip (aka rautenlippe) is a germinative neuroepithelium rimming the opening of the hindbrain fourth ventricle during development. Studies spanning more than a century have shown that the rhombic lip produces numerous brainstem neuronal populations unique in their development and functions. While these studies have largely been anatomical in nature, recent applications of newer techniques such as genetic fate mapping and conditional mutagenesis have resolved the rhombic lip into numerous molecularly distinct progenitor domains along spatial and temporal axes that give rise to specific neuron subtypes and systems. This exciting convergence between anatomical and molecular definitions of the rhombic lip and its constituent progenitor populations provides now an important framework for further studies into the genetic basis of development and function of numerous hindbrain neuron types crucial to life.

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