Sonic hedgehog induces the differentiation of ventral forebrain neurons: a common signal for ventral patterning within the neural tube

Cell. 1995 Jun 2;81(5):747-56. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(95)90536-7.


The vertebrate hedgehog-related gene Sonic hedgehog (Shh) is expressed in ventral domains along the entire rostrocaudal length of the neural tube, including the forebrain. We show here that SHH induces the differentiation of ventral neuronal cell types in explants derived from prospective forebrain regions of the neural plate. Neurons induced in explants derived from both diencephalic and telencephalic levels of the neural plate express the LIM homeodomain protein Isl-1, and these neurons possess distinct identities that match those of the ventral neurons generated in these two subdivisions of the forebrain in vivo. A single inducing molecule, SHH, therefore appears to mediate the induction of distinct ventral neuronal cell types along the entire rostrocaudal extent of the embryonic central nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activated-Leukocyte Cell Adhesion Molecule
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Communication*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chick Embryo
  • Culture Techniques / methods
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Diencephalon / embryology
  • Embryonic Induction*
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • LIM-Homeodomain Proteins
  • Mice
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Neurons / classification
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Prosencephalon / cytology
  • Prosencephalon / embryology*
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Telencephalon / embryology
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tissue Transplantation
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Transcription Factors


  • Activated-Leukocyte Cell Adhesion Molecule
  • Biomarkers
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • LIM-Homeodomain Proteins
  • Lhx1 protein, mouse
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • insulin gene enhancer binding protein Isl-1