The complexity of the forebrain makes it a challenging task to elucidate how this structure forms during embryonic development. We are beginning to understand how a simple ectodermal sheet gives rise to the functional forebrain. Its most intricate structure is the telencephalon-derived cortex.
A crucial step in forming the cortex is the establishment of distinct dorso-ventral (DV) cell identities. This process is regulated by Hedgehog (Hh) signalling as its abrogation prevents formation of ventral telencephalon.
However, the DV organisation is restored in the absence of both Hh signalling and its repressor Gli3, indicating that another mechanism is able to establish the DV polarity in this context. Here, we propose that this is achieved via the Wnt/b-catenin signalling pathway.
We aim to elucidate
- the mechanisms by which this pathway regulates the DV telencephalic patterning and
- the nature of the interactions existing between Hh and Wnt/b-catenin signalling in this process.
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