A Postmitotic Role for Isl-Class LIM Homeodomain Proteins in the Assignment of Visceral Spinal Motor Neuron Identity

Joshua P. Thaler, Sonya J. Koo, Artur Kania, Karen Lettieri, Shane Andrews, Christopher Cox, Thomas M. Jessell, Samuel L. Pfaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

125 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

LIM homeobox genes have a prominent role in the regulation of neuronal subtype identity and distinguish motor neuron subclasses in the embryonic spinal cord. We have investigated the role of Isl-class LIM homeodomain proteins in motor neuron diversification using mouse genetic methods. All spinal motor neuron subtypes initially express both Isl1 and Isl2, but Isl2 is rapidly downregulated by visceral motor neurons. Mouse embryos lacking Isl2 function exhibit defects in the migration and axonal projections of thoracic level motor neurons that appear to reflect a cell-autonomous switch from visceral to somatic motor neuron character. Additional genetic mutations that reduce or eliminate both Isl1 and Isl2 activity result in more pronounced defects in visceral motor neuron generation and erode somatic motor neuron character. Thus, an early phase of high Isl expression and activity in newly generated motor neurons permits the diversification of visceral and somatic motor neuron subtypes in the developing spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-350
Number of pages14
JournalNeuron
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 5 2004

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LIM-Homeodomain Proteins
Motor Neurons
Spinal Cord
Homeobox Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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A Postmitotic Role for Isl-Class LIM Homeodomain Proteins in the Assignment of Visceral Spinal Motor Neuron Identity. / Thaler, Joshua P.; Koo, Sonya J.; Kania, Artur; Lettieri, Karen; Andrews, Shane; Cox, Christopher; Jessell, Thomas M.; Pfaff, Samuel L.

In: Neuron, Vol. 41, No. 3, 05.02.2004, p. 337-350.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Thaler, JP, Koo, SJ, Kania, A, Lettieri, K, Andrews, S, Cox, C, Jessell, TM & Pfaff, SL 2004, 'A Postmitotic Role for Isl-Class LIM Homeodomain Proteins in the Assignment of Visceral Spinal Motor Neuron Identity', Neuron, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 337-350. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0896-6273(04)00011-X
Thaler, Joshua P. ; Koo, Sonya J. ; Kania, Artur ; Lettieri, Karen ; Andrews, Shane ; Cox, Christopher ; Jessell, Thomas M. ; Pfaff, Samuel L. / A Postmitotic Role for Isl-Class LIM Homeodomain Proteins in the Assignment of Visceral Spinal Motor Neuron Identity. In: Neuron. 2004 ; Vol. 41, No. 3. pp. 337-350.
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