Neocortex patterning by the secreted signaling molecule FGF8


A classic model proposes that the mammalian neocortex is divided into areas early in neurogenesis, but the molecular mechanisms that generate the area map have been elusive. Here we provide evidence that FGF8 regulates devel-opment of the map from a source in the anterior telencephalon. Using elec-troporation-mediated gene transfer in mouse embryos, we show that aug-menting the endogenous anterior FGF8 signal shifts area boundaries posteri-orly, reducing the signal shifts them anteriorly, and introducing a posterior source of FGF8 elicits partial area duplications, revealed by ectopic somato-sensory barrel Þelds. These Þndings support a role for FGF signaling in specifying positional identity in the neocortex. The mammalian cerebral cortex is divided into anatomically and functionally distinct areas, forming a species-specific area map across the cortical sheet (1). Identifying the mechanisms that generate the map is thus ke

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