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Molecular genetics of the early development of hindbrain serotonergic neurons

Section Editors:
Roderick R. McInnes, email: mcinnes@sickkids.ca
Jacques L. Michaud, email: jmichaud@justine.umontreal.ca

Authors

  • SP Cordes

    Corresponding author
    1. Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
      Sabine P. Cordes, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Room 865, Mt. Sinai Hospital, 600 University Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5G 1X5.
      Tel.: +1 416 586 4800x8891;
      fax: +1 416 586 8588;
      e-mail: cordes@mshri.on.ca
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Sabine P. Cordes, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Room 865, Mt. Sinai Hospital, 600 University Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5G 1X5.
Tel.: +1 416 586 4800x8891;
fax: +1 416 586 8588;
e-mail: cordes@mshri.on.ca

Abstract

The serotonergic (5HT) system plays a key role in modulating behaviors, such as appetite and anxiety and has been implicated in many human disorders of mood and mind. Recent studies have begun to identify the signaling molecules and transcriptional cascades governing 5HT neuron development in the hindbrain. Already at early stages, local differences in requirements of 5HT neuron development have become apparent. These studies point toward cryptic heterogeneity amongst 5HT neurons and suggest that 5HT neuron determination and differentiation may be more flexible and less absolute biologic processes than might have been expected. Ultimately, the intrinsic heterogeneity and environmental sensitivity of 5HT neruons may help explain the variability observed in some human behavioral disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder, and the less predictable behavioral consequences of fetal alcohol syndrome.

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