Patterning, specification, and differentiation in the developing hypothalamus

Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol. Sep-Oct 2015;4(5):445-68. doi: 10.1002/wdev.187. Epub 2015 Mar 27.


Owing to its complex structure and highly diverse cell populations, the study of hypothalamic development has historically lagged behind that of other brain regions. However, in recent years, a greatly expanded understanding of hypothalamic gene expression during development has opened up new avenues of investigation. In this review, we synthesize existing work to present a holistic picture of hypothalamic development from early induction and patterning through nuclear specification and differentiation, with a particular emphasis on determination of cell fate. We will also touch on special topics in the field including the prosomere model, adult neurogenesis, and integration of migratory cells originating outside the hypothalamic neuroepithelium, and how these topics relate to our broader theme.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning*
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / embryology*
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction