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Cell. 1995 Jun 2;81(5):747-56.

Sonic hedgehog induces the differentiation of ventral forebrain neurons: a common signal for ventral patterning within the neural tube.

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Department of Microbiology, University of UmeƄ, Sweden.

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  • Cell 1995 Jul 14;82(1):following 165.


The vertebrate hedgehog-related gene Sonic hedgehog (Shh) is expressed in ventral domains along the entire rostrocaudal length of the neural tube, including the forebrain. We show here that SHH induces the differentiation of ventral neuronal cell types in explants derived from prospective forebrain regions of the neural plate. Neurons induced in explants derived from both diencephalic and telencephalic levels of the neural plate express the LIM homeodomain protein Isl-1, and these neurons possess distinct identities that match those of the ventral neurons generated in these two subdivisions of the forebrain in vivo. A single inducing molecule, SHH, therefore appears to mediate the induction of distinct ventral neuronal cell types along the entire rostrocaudal extent of the embryonic central nervous system.

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