Differential activity of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the embryonic mouse thalamus

Authors

  • Krista K. Bluske,

    1. Department of Neuroscience, and Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    2. Stem Cell Institute, and Developmental Biology Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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  • Yasuhiko Kawakami,

    1. Stem Cell Institute, and Developmental Biology Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    2. Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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  • Naoko Koyano-Nakagawa,

    1. Department of Neuroscience, and Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    2. Stem Cell Institute, and Developmental Biology Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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  • Yasushi Nakagawa

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neuroscience, and Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    2. Stem Cell Institute, and Developmental Biology Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Department of Neuroscience, Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Stem Cell Institute, and Developmental Biology Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455
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Abstract

In neural development, several Wnt genes are expressed in the vertebrate diencephalon, including the thalamus. However, roles of Wnt signaling in the thalamus during neurogenesis are not well understood. We examined Wnt/β-catenin activity in embryonic mouse thalamus and found that a Wnt target gene Axin2 and reporter activity of BAT-gal transgenic mice show similar, differential patterns within the thalamic ventricular zone, where ventral and rostral regions had lower activity than other regions. Expression of Wnt ligands and signaling components also showed complex, differential patterns. Finally, based on partially reciprocal patterns of Wnt and Shh signals in the thalamic ventricular zone, we tested if Shh signal is sufficient or necessary for the differential Axin2 expression. Analysis of mice with enhanced or reduced Shh signal showed that Axin2 expression is similar to controls. These results suggest that differential Wnt signaling may play a role in patterning the thalamus independent of Shh signaling. Developmental Dynamics 238:3297–3309, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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