Development and malformations of the cerebellum in mice

Mol Genet Metab. Sep-Oct 2003;80(1-2):54-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2003.08.019.


The cerebellum is the primary motor coordination center of the CNS and is also involved in cognitive processing and sensory discrimination. Multiple cerebellar malformations have been described in humans, however, their developmental and genetic etiologies currently remain largely unknown. In contrast, there is extensive literature describing cerebellar malformations in the mouse. During the past decade, analysis of both spontaneous and gene-targeted neurological mutant mice has provided significant insight into the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate cerebellar development. Cerebellar development occurs in several distinct but interconnected steps. These include the establishment of the cerebellar territory along anterior-posterior and dorsal-ventral axes of the embryo, initial specification of the cerebellar cell types, their subsequent proliferation, differentiation and migration, and, finally, the interconnection of the cerebellar circuitry. Our understanding of the basis of these developmental processes is certain to provide insight into the nature of human cerebellar malformations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cerebellum / abnormalities*
  • Cerebellum / growth & development
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mesencephalon / abnormalities*
  • Mesencephalon / growth & development
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Rhombencephalon / abnormalities*
  • Rhombencephalon / growth & development