Lbx1 acts as a selector gene in the fate determination of somatosensory and viscerosensory relay neurons in the hindbrain

J Neurosci. 2007 May 2;27(18):4902-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0717-07.2007.


Distinct types of relay neurons in the hindbrain process somatosensory or viscerosensory information. How neurons choose between these two fates is unclear. We show here that the homeobox gene Lbx1 is essential for imposing a somatosensory fate on relay neurons in the hindbrain. In Lbx1 mutant mice, viscerosensory relay neurons are specified at the expense of somatosensory relay neurons. Thus Lbx1 expression distinguishes between the somatosensory or viscerosensory fate of relay neurons.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genes, Homeobox / physiology
  • Genetic Linkage / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Muscle Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics*
  • Muscle Proteins / physiology
  • Neurons
  • Neurons, Afferent / cytology
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism*
  • Rhombencephalon / cytology
  • Rhombencephalon / metabolism
  • Rhombencephalon / physiology*
  • Visceral Afferents / cytology
  • Visceral Afferents / metabolism*


  • Lbx1h protein, mouse
  • Muscle Proteins