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J Comp Neurol March 1, 2013; 521 (4): 725-59.

Characterization of the hypothalamus of Xenopus laevis during development. I. The alar regions.

Domínguez L , Morona R , González A , Moreno N .

The patterns of expression of a set of conserved developmental regulatory transcription factors and neuronal markers were analyzed in the alar hypothalamus of Xenopus laevis throughout development. Combined immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization techniques were used for the identification of subdivisions and their boundaries. The alar hypothalamus was located rostral to the diencephalon in the secondary prosencephalon and represents the rostral continuation of the alar territories of the diencephalon and brainstem, according to the prosomeric model. It is composed of the supraoptoparaventricular (dorsal) and the suprachiasmatic (ventral) regions, and limits dorsally with the preoptic region, caudally with the prethalamic eminence and the prethalamus, and ventrally with the basal hypothalamus. The supraoptoparaventricular area is defined by the orthopedia (Otp) expression and is subdivided into rostral and caudal portions, on the basis of the Nkx2.2 expression only in the rostral portion. This region is the source of many neuroendocrine cells, primarily located in the rostral subdivision. The suprachiasmatic region is characterized by Dll4/Isl1 expression, and was also subdivided into rostral and caudal portions, based on the expression of Nkx2.1/Nkx2.2 and Lhx1/7 exclusively in the rostral portion. Both alar regions are mainly connected with subpallial areas strongly implicated in the limbic system and show robust intrahypothalamic connections. Caudally, both regions project to brainstem centers and spinal cord. All these data support that in terms of topology, molecular specification, and connectivity the subdivisions of the anuran alar hypothalamus possess many features shared with their counterparts in amniotes, likely controlling similar reflexes, responses, and behaviors.

PubMed ID: 22965483
Article link: J Comp Neurol

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: dll4 dlx2 isl1 lhx1 lhx5 lhx8 lhx9 nkx2-1 nkx2-2 otp pth shh sst.1
Antibodies: GABA Ab2 Isl1/2 Ab1 Mst Ab1 Nkx2-1 Ab5 Nkx2-2 Ab1 Otp Ab1 Som Ab1 Tbr1 Ab1

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