• Zbtb20;
  • medial pallium;
  • arealization;
  • cortical hem;
  • Wnt3a


The molecular mechanisms of regionalization of the medial pallium (MP), the anlage of the hippocampus, and transitional (cingulate and retrosplenial) cortices are largely unknown. Previous analyses have outlined an important role of the transcription factor (TF) Zbtb20 for hippocampal CA1 field specification (Nielsen et al. (2007) Development 134:1133-1140; Nielsen et al. (2010) Cereb Cortex 20:1904-1914; Xie et al. (2010) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:6510-6515). Here, we present novel data showing that Zbtb20 exhibits a ventralhigh-to-dorsallow gradient of expression in MP progenitors as well as an expression in postmitotic cells at the transitional cortex/neocortex border. Our detailed pattern analysis revealed that in Zbtb20 loss-of-function the molecular borders between neocortical, transitional, and hippocampal fields are progressively shifted ventrally, leading to an ectopic positioning of all dorsal fields into the neighboring ventrally located areas. Thus, in addition to its known importance for the specification of the hippocampal CA1 sector, the graded expression of TF Zbtb20 in ventricular zone of MP appears to translate early positional information for establishment of all developing MP fields. Our data also suggest that the signaling factor Wnt3a is a putative molecular partner of TF Zbtb20 in this patterning process. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.