Development of midline cell types and commissural axon tracts requires Fgfr1 in the cerebrum

Dev Biol. 2006 Jan 1;289(1):141-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2005.10.020. Epub 2005 Nov 23.


The adult cerebral hemispheres are connected to each other by specialized midline cell types and by three axonal tracts: the corpus callosum, the hippocampal commissure, and the anterior commissure. Many steps are required for these tracts to form, including early patterning and later axon pathfinding steps. Here, the requirement for FGF signaling in forming midline cell types and commissural axon tracts of the cerebral hemispheres is examined. Fgfr1, but not Fgfr3, is found to be essential for establishing all three commissural tracts. In an Fgfr1 mutant, commissural neurons are present and initially project their axons, but these fail to cross the midline that separates the hemispheres. Moreover, midline patterning defects are observed in the mutant. These defects include the loss of the septum and three specialized glial cell types, the indusium griseum glia, midline zipper glia, and glial wedge. Our findings demonstrate that FGF signaling is required for generating telencephalic midline structures, in particular septal and glial cell types and all three cerebral commissures. In addition, analysis of the Fgfr1 heterozygous mutant, in which midline patterning is normal but commissural defects still occur, suggests that at least two distinct FGF-dependent mechanisms underlie the formation of the cerebral commissures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 8 / analysis
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 8 / metabolism
  • Heterozygote
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Mutation
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1 / analysis
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1 / deficiency*
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1 / genetics
  • Septal Nuclei / abnormalities
  • Septal Nuclei / chemistry
  • Septal Nuclei / embryology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Telencephalon / abnormalities
  • Telencephalon / chemistry
  • Telencephalon / embryology*


  • Fgf8 protein, mouse
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 8
  • Fgfr1 protein, mouse
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1