The genetics of early telencephalon patterning: some assembly required

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008 Sep;9(9):678-85. doi: 10.1038/nrn2463.


The immense range of human behaviours is rooted in the complex neural networks of the cerebrum. The creation of these networks depends on the precise integration of specific neuronal subtypes that are born in different regions of the telencephalon. Here, using the mouse as a model system, we review how these proliferative zones are established. Moreover, we discuss how these regions can be traced back in development to the function of a few key genes, including those that encode fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), sonic hedgehog (SHH), bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), forkhead box G1 (FOXG1), paired box 6 (PAX6) and LIM homeobox protein 2 (LHX2), that pattern the early telencephalon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / genetics*
  • Body Patterning / physiology*
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / genetics
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / genetics
  • Hedgehog Proteins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Telencephalon* / embryology
  • Telencephalon* / growth & development
  • Telencephalon* / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Shh protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors