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Dev Neurobiol. 2011 Aug;71(8):665-79. doi: 10.1002/dneu.20877.

Otx genes in neurogenesis of mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons.

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CEINGE Biotecnologie Avanzate, SEMM European School of Molecular Medicine, via Gaetano Salvatore 486, 80145 Naples, Italy.


Mesencephalic-diencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA) neurons play a relevant role in the control of movement, behavior, and cognition. Indeed loss and/or abnormal functioning of mdDA neurons are responsible for Parkinson's disease as well as for addictive and psychiatric disorders. In the last years a wealth of information has been provided on gene functions controlling identity, fate, and proliferation of mdDA progenitors. This review will focus on the role exerted by Otx genes in early decisions regulating sequential steps required for the neurogenesis of mesencephalic dopaminergic (mesDA) neurons. In this context, the regulatory network involving Otx functional interactions with signaling molecules and transcription factors required to promote or prevent the development of mesDA neurons will be analyzed in detail.

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