The midbrain--hindbrain boundary organizer

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2001 Feb;11(1):34-42. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(00)00171-9.


Cell fate in the cephalic neural primordium is controlled by an organizer located at the midbrain-hindbrain boundary. Studies in chick, mouse and zebrafish converge to show that mutually repressive interactions between homeodomain transcription factors of the Otx and Gbx class position this organizer in the neural primordium. Once positioned, independent signaling pathways converge in their activity to drive organizer function. Fibroblast growth factors secreted from the organizer are necessary for, and sufficient to mimic, organizer activity in patterning the midbrain and anterior hindbrain, and are tightly controlled by feedback inhibition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chick Embryo
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / physiology
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Mesencephalon / embryology*
  • Mice
  • Otx Transcription Factors
  • Rhombencephalon / embryology*
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins


  • Gbx1 protein, mouse
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Otx Transcription Factors
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • gbx1 protein, zebrafish
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors