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Brain Struct Funct. 2016 Jun;221(5):2493-510. doi: 10.1007/s00429-015-1052-5. Epub 2015 May 12.

Molecular anatomy of the thalamic complex and the underlying transcription factors.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Neurodegeneration, International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw, 02-109, Poland.
2
Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Centre of New Technologies, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, 00-927, Poland.
3
Department of Human Anatomy, University of Murcia and IMIB, Murcia, 30071, Spain.
4
Laboratory of Bioinformatics, Center of Neurobiology, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Warsaw, 02-093, Poland.
5
Laboratory of Neurodegeneration, International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw, 02-109, Poland. m.wisniewska@cent.uw.edu.pl.
6
Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Centre of New Technologies, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, 00-927, Poland. m.wisniewska@cent.uw.edu.pl.

Abstract

Thalamocortical loops have been implicated in the control of higher-order cognitive functions, but advances in our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of neocortical organization have not been accompanied by similar analyses in the thalamus. Using expression-based correlation maps and the manual mapping of mouse and human datasets available in the Allen Brain Atlas, we identified a few individual regions and several sets of molecularly related nuclei that partially overlap with the classic grouping that is based on topographical localization and thalamocortical connections. These new molecular divisions of the adult thalamic complex are defined by the combinatorial expression of Tcf7l2, Lef1, Gbx2, Prox1, Pou4f1, Esrrg, and Six3 transcription factor genes. Further in silico and experimental analyses provided the evidence that TCF7L2 might be a pan-thalamic specifier. These results provide substantial insights into the "molecular logic" that underlies organization of the thalamic complex.

KEYWORDS:

Brain anatomy; Genoarchitecture; TCF7L2; Thalamus; Transcription factors

PMID:
25963709
PMCID:
PMC4884203
DOI:
10.1007/s00429-015-1052-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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