The Elegance of Sonic Hedgehog: Emerging Novel Functions for a Classic Morphogen

J Neurosci. 2018 Oct 31;38(44):9338-9345. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1662-18.2018.


Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) signaling has been most widely known for its role in specifying region and cell-type identity during embryonic morphogenesis. This mini-review accompanies a 2018 SFN mini-symposium that addresses an emerging body of research focused on understanding the diverse roles for Shh signaling in a wide range of contexts in neurodevelopment and, more recently, in the mature CNS. Such research shows that Shh affects the function of brain circuits, including the production and maintenance of diverse cell types and the establishment of wiring specificity. Here, we review these novel and unexpected functions and the unanswered questions regarding the role of SHH and its signaling pathway members in these cases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hedgehog Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Morphogenesis / physiology*
  • Neural Stem Cells / chemistry
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Synapses / chemistry
  • Synapses / metabolism*


  • Hedgehog Proteins