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Ectopic Overexpression of Engrailed2 in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells Causes Restricted Cell Loss and Retarded External Germinal Layer Development at Lobule Junctions

Ectopic Overexpression of Engrailed2 in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells Causes Restricted Cell Loss and Retarded External Germinal Layer Development at Lobu

Ectopic Overexpression of Engrailed2 in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells Causes Restricted Cell Loss and Retarded External Germinal Layer Development at Lobule Junctions   (Citations: 33)
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Members of the En and Wnt gene families seem to play a key role in the early specification of the brain territory that gives rise to the cerebellum, the midhindbrain junction. To analyze the possible continuous role of the En and Wnt signaling pathway in later cerebellar patterning and function, we expressed En-2 ectopically in Purkinje cells during late embryonic and postnatal cerebellar development. As a result of this expression, the cerebellum is greatly reduced in size, and Purkinje cell numbers throughout the cerebellum are reduced by more than one-third relative to normal animals. Detailed analysis of both adult and developing cerebella reveals a pattern of selectivity to the loss of Purkinje cells and other cerebellar neurons. This is observed as a general loss of prominence of cerebellar fissures that is highlighted by a total loss of sublobular fissures. In contrast, mediolateral patterning is generally only subtly affected. That En-2 overexpression selectively affects Purkinje cells in the transition zone between lobules is evidenced by direct obser- vation of selective Purkinje cell loss in certain fissures and by the observation that growth and migration of the external ger- minal layer (EGL) is selectively retarded in the deep fissures during early postnatal development. Thus, in addition to dem- onstrating the critical role of Purkinje cells in the generation and migration of granule cells, the heterogeneous distribution of cellular effects induced by ectopic En expression suggests a relatively late morphogenetic role for this and other segment polarity proteins, mainly oriented at lobule junctions.
Published in 1998.
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