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Dlx1&2-Dependent Expression of Zfhx1b Regulates the Fate Switch Between Cortical and Striatal Interneurons

  • Author(s): McKinsey, Gabriel Lawrence
  • Advisor(s): Pleasure, Sam
  • et al.
Abstract

Mammalian pallial (cortical and hippocampal) and striatal interneurons are both generated in the embryonic subpallium, including the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE). Herein I demonstrate that the Zfhx1b (Sip1, Zeb2) zinc finger homeobox gene is required in the MGE, directly downstream of Dlx1&2, to generate cortical interneurons that express Cxcr7, MafB and cMaf. In its absence, Nkx2-1 expression is not repressed, and cells that ordinarily would become cortical interneurons appear to transform towards a subtype of GABAergic striatal interneurons. These results show that Zfhx1b is required to generate cortical interneurons, and suggest a mechanism for the epilepsy observed in humans with Zfhx1b mutations (Mowat-Wilson syndrome).

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