Comparative analysis of proneural gene expression in the embryonic cerebellum

Dev Dyn. 2008 Jun;237(6):1726-35. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.21571.


The embryonic cerebellum contains two germinative epithelia: the rhombic lip and the ventricular zone. While the lineage of glutamatergic neurons arising from the rhombic lip has been characterized, plenty remains to be learned about the factors giving rise to the array of ventricular zone-derived gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons. In the present study, we describe the expression of proneural genes Mash1/Ascl1, Ngn1/Neurog1, and Ngn2/Neurog2 in the cerebellar primordium at key stages of Purkinje cell and interneuron development, and compare them with the expression of other genes active in the same context. Our results indicate that Ngn1, Ngn2 and Mash1 are expressed at relevant stages of cerebellar neurogenesis in the prospective cerebellar nuclei and in the ventricular zone, excluding the Math1/Atoh1-positive rhombic lip. Their expression domains are only partially overlapping, suggesting that they may contribute selectively to ventricular zone regionalization, giving rise to the diversity of cerebellar GABA neurons and, possibly, Purkinje cell subtypes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cerebellum / embryology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Purkinje Cells / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Ascl1 protein, mouse
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neurog2 protein, mouse
  • Neurog1 protein, mouse