Loss of Ptf1a leads to a widespread cell-fate misspecification in the brainstem, affecting the development of somatosensory and viscerosensory nuclei

Igor Iskusnykh, Ekaterina Y. Steshina, Viktor Chizhikov

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9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The brainstem contains diverse neuronal populations that regulate a wide range of processes vital to the organism. Proper cell-fate specification decisions are critical to achieve neuronal diversity in the CNS, but the mechanisms regulating cell-fate specification in the developing brainstem are poorly understood. Previously, it has been shown that basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Ptf1a is required for the differentiation and survival of neurons of the inferior olivary and cochlear brainstem nuclei, which contribute to motor coordination and sound processing, respectively. In this study, we show that the loss of Ptf1a compromises the development of the nucleus of the solitary tract, which processes viscerosensory information, and the spinal and principal trigeminal nuclei, which integrate somatosensory information of the face. Combining genetic fate-mapping, birth-dating, and gene expression studies, we found that at least a subset of brainstem abnormalities in Ptf1a−/− mice are mediated by a dramatic cell-fate misspecification in rhombomeres 2–7, which results in the production of supernumerary viscerosensory and somatosensory neurons of the Lmx1b lineage at the expense of Pax2+ GABAergic viscerosensory and somatosensory neurons, and inferior olivary neurons. Our data identify Ptf1a as a major regulator of cell-fate specification decisions in the developing brainstem, and as a previously unrecognized developmental regulator of both viscerosensory and somatosensory brainstem nuclei.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2691-2710
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume36
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2 2016

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Brain Stem
Neurons
Spinal Trigeminal Nucleus
Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
Cochlear Nucleus
Solitary Nucleus
Parturition
Gene Expression
Population

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

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title = "Loss of Ptf1a leads to a widespread cell-fate misspecification in the brainstem, affecting the development of somatosensory and viscerosensory nuclei",
abstract = "The brainstem contains diverse neuronal populations that regulate a wide range of processes vital to the organism. Proper cell-fate specification decisions are critical to achieve neuronal diversity in the CNS, but the mechanisms regulating cell-fate specification in the developing brainstem are poorly understood. Previously, it has been shown that basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Ptf1a is required for the differentiation and survival of neurons of the inferior olivary and cochlear brainstem nuclei, which contribute to motor coordination and sound processing, respectively. In this study, we show that the loss of Ptf1a compromises the development of the nucleus of the solitary tract, which processes viscerosensory information, and the spinal and principal trigeminal nuclei, which integrate somatosensory information of the face. Combining genetic fate-mapping, birth-dating, and gene expression studies, we found that at least a subset of brainstem abnormalities in Ptf1a−/− mice are mediated by a dramatic cell-fate misspecification in rhombomeres 2–7, which results in the production of supernumerary viscerosensory and somatosensory neurons of the Lmx1b lineage at the expense of Pax2+ GABAergic viscerosensory and somatosensory neurons, and inferior olivary neurons. Our data identify Ptf1a as a major regulator of cell-fate specification decisions in the developing brainstem, and as a previously unrecognized developmental regulator of both viscerosensory and somatosensory brainstem nuclei.",
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