Lmx1b is essential for the development of serotonergic neurons

Nat Neurosci. 2003 Sep;6(9):933-8. doi: 10.1038/nn1104.

Abstract

The specification and differentiation of serotonergic (5-HT) neurons require both extrinsic signaling molecules and intrinsic transcription factors to work in concert or in cascade. Here we identify the genetic cascades that control the specification and differentiation of 5-HT neurons in mice. A major determinant in the cascades is an LIM homeodomain-containing gene, Lmx1b, which is required for the development of all 5-HT neurons in the central nervous system. Our results suggest that, during development of 5-HT neurons, Lmx1b is a critical intermediate factor that couples Nkx2-2-mediated early specification with Pet1-mediated terminal differentiation. Moreover, our data indicate that genetic cascades controlling the caudal and rostral 5-HT neurons are distinct, despite their shared components.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • LIM-Homeodomain Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Serotonin / genetics
  • Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors

Substances

  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • LIM homeobox transcription factor 1 beta
  • LIM-Homeodomain Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Serotonin