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Front Neural Circuits. 2017 May 17;11:33. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2017.00033. eCollection 2017.

The Long Journey of Pontine Nuclei Neurons: From Rhombic Lip to Cortico-Ponto-Cerebellar Circuitry.

Author information

1
Chair in Zoology and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Biology, University of KonstanzKonstanz, Germany.
2
Zukunftskolleg, University of KonstanzKonstanz, Germany.
3
Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical ResearchBasel, Switzerland.
4
University of BaselBasel, Switzerland.

Abstract

The pontine nuclei (PN) are the largest of the precerebellar nuclei, neuronal assemblies in the hindbrain providing principal input to the cerebellum. The PN are predominantly innervated by the cerebral cortex and project as mossy fibers to the cerebellar hemispheres. Here, we comprehensively review the development of the PN from specification to migration, nucleogenesis and circuit formation. PN neurons originate at the posterior rhombic lip and migrate tangentially crossing several rhombomere derived territories to reach their final position in ventral part of the pons. The developing PN provide a classical example of tangential neuronal migration and a study system for understanding its molecular underpinnings. We anticipate that understanding the mechanisms of PN migration and assembly will also permit a deeper understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of cortico-cerebellar circuit formation and function.

KEYWORDS:

Hox genes; cortico-ponto-cerebellar circuitry; pontine gray nuclei; precerebellar system; reticulotegmental nuclei

PMID:
28567005
PMCID:
PMC5434118
DOI:
10.3389/fncir.2017.00033
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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