Organizing Brain Development

Science Signaling  22 Jan 2008:
Vol. 1, Issue 3, pp. ec27
DOI: 10.1126/stke.13ec27

In early development, the cortex of the mammalian brain is built layer by layer, from the inside out. But before that occurs, the neural epithelium consists of only a single layer of stem cells. Mangale et al. (see the Perspective by Grove) have now determined that in mice the gene Lhx2 determines cortical identity for cells at these earliest stages. Lhx2 establishes whether cells give rise to the cortical hem, which is now seen to function as an organizer of hippocampal development.

V. S. Mangale, K. E. Hirokawa, P. R. V. Satyaki, N. Gokulchandran, S. Chikbire, L. Subramanian, A. S. Shetty, B. Martynoga, J. Paul, M. V. Mai, Y. Li, L. A. Flanagan, S. Tole, E. S. Monuki, Lhx2 selector activity specifies cortical identity and suppresses hippocampal organizer fate. Science 319, 304-309 (2008). [Abstract] [Full Text]

E. A. Grove, Organizing the source of memory. Science 319, 288-289 (2008). [Summary] [Full Text]