Subcortical visual shell nuclei targeted by ipRGCs develop from a Sox14+-GABAergic progenitor and require Sox14 to regulate daily activity rhythms

Neuron. 2012 Aug 23;75(4):648-62. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.06.013.


Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) and their nuclear targets in the subcortical visual shell (SVS) are components of the non-image-forming visual system, which regulates important physiological processes, including photoentrainment of the circadian rhythm. While ipRGCs have been the subject of much recent research, less is known about their central targets and how they develop to support specific behavioral functions. We describe Sox14 as a marker to follow the ontogeny of the SVS and find that the complex forms from two narrow stripes of Dlx2-negative GABAergic progenitors in the early diencephalon through sequential waves of tangential migration. We characterize the requirement for Sox14 to orchestrate the correct distribution of neurons among the different nuclei of the network and describe how Sox14 expression is required both to ensure robustness in circadian entrainment and for masking of motor activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Transport System y+ / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Body Temperature / genetics
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Circadian Rhythm / genetics
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Diencephalon / cytology
  • Diencephalon / embryology
  • Diencephalon / growth & development
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Motor Activity / genetics
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Neurogenesis / genetics
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Reflex / genetics
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • SOXB2 Transcription Factors / genetics
  • SOXB2 Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / deficiency
  • Transduction, Genetic / methods
  • Visual Pathways / cytology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • Amino Acid Transport System y+
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Distal-less homeobox proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • SOXB2 Transcription Factors
  • Slc7a10 protein, mouse
  • Sox14 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • enhanced green fluorescent protein
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid