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Dev Biol March 15, 2006; 291 (2): 218-26.

GABAergic specification in the basal forebrain is controlled by the LIM-hd factor Lhx7.

Bachy I , Rétaux S .

We present evidence for a temporal control of GABAergic neurotransmitter specification in the basal forebrain orchestrated by the LIM-homeodomain factor Lhx7. In Xenopus, using in vivo overexpression experiments, we show that x-Lhx7 and x-Nkx2.1 inhibit GABAergic specification in the Dlx-expressing areas of the forebrain (subpallium and diencephalon). In addition, x-Lhx7 almost totally represses GABAergic differentiation at early but not late embryonic stages in subpallial mouse primary neurons in culture, indicating that x-Lhx7 is not able to withdraw the GABAergic phenotype once it is acquired. Moreover, anatomical data show striking correlations between x-Lhx7 expression and the GABAergic/cholinergic phenotypes. These functional and anatomical observations suggest a sequential role for x-Lhx7 in neurotransmitter specification. Thus, x-Lhx7 would first prevent a pool of cells to become GABAergic early in development and then promote cholinergic differentiation later on in this pool. We propose two distinct modulatory roles for a single LIM-hd factor, depending on the developmental time window.

PubMed ID: 16438949
Article link: Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: dlc dlx5 hopx lhx8 myc nkx2-1 tbx2
Antibodies: GABA Ab2 Nkx2-1 Ab2

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