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Science 291 (5511): 2147-2150

Copyright © 2001 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Sonic Hedgehog Control of Size and Shape in Midbrain Pattern Formation

Seema Agarwala, Timothy A. Sanders, Clifton W. Ragsdale*

Little is known about how patterns of cell types are organized to form brain structures of appropriate size and shape. To study this process, we employed in vivo electroporation during midbrain development to create ectopic sources of Sonic Hedgehog, a signaling molecule previously shown to specify different neuronal cell types in a concentration-dependent manner in vitro. We provide direct evidence that a Sonic Hedgehog source can control pattern at a distance in brain development and demonstrate that the size, shape, and orientation of the cell populations produced depend on the geometry of the morphogen source. Thus, a single regulatory molecule can coordinate tissue size and shape with cell-type identity in brain development.

Department of Neurobiology, Pharmacology, and Physiology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: cliff{at}

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