How to make a mesodiencephalic dopaminergic neuron

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2007 Jan;8(1):21-32. doi: 10.1038/nrn2039.


Dopaminergic neurons located in the ventral mesodiencephalon are essential for the control of voluntary movement and the regulation of emotion, and are severely affected in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease. Recent advances in molecular biology and mouse genetics have helped to unravel the mechanisms involved in the development of mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA) neurons, including their specification, migration and differentiation, as well as the processes that govern axonal pathfinding and their specific patterns of connectivity and maintenance. Here, we follow the developmental path of these neurons with the goal of generating a molecular code that could be exploited in cell-replacement strategies to treat diseases such as Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Diencephalon* / cytology
  • Diencephalon* / embryology
  • Diencephalon* / growth & development
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*


  • Dopamine