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Loss of Gli3 enhances the viability of embryonic telencephalic cells in vitro


Professor David J. Price, as above.


The transcription factor Gli3 is important for brain and limb development. Mice homozygous for a mutation in Gli3 (Gli3Xt/Xt) have severe abnormalities of telencephalic development and previous studies have suggested that aberrant cell death may contribute to the Gli3Xt/Xt phenotype. We demonstrate that telencephalic cells from embryonic Gli3Xt/Xt embryos survive better and are more resistant to death induced by cytosine arabinoside, a nucleoside analogue that induces death in neuronal progenitors and neurons, than are control counterparts in vitro. Culture medium conditioned by Gli3Xt/Xt cells is more effective at enhancing the viability of control telencephalic cells than medium conditioned by control cells, indicating that Gli3Xt/Xt cells release a factor or factors which enhance telencephalic cell viability. Gli3Xt/Xt cells are also more sensitive to released factors present in conditioned media. These data suggest that Gli3 plays both cell-autonomous and cell-nonautonomous roles in mediating telencephalic cell viability.

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