Image_3_Multiple Regionalized Genes and Their Putative Networks in the Interpeduncular Nucleus Suggest Complex Mechanisms of Neuron Development and Axon Guidance.pdf
The interpeduncular nucleus (IPN) is a highly conserved limbic structure in the vertebrate brain, located in the isthmus and rhombomere 1. It is formed by various populations that migrate from different sites to the distinct domains within the IPN: the prodromal, rostral interpeduncular, and caudal interpeduncular nuclei. The aim here was to identify genes that are differentially expressed across these domains, characterizing their putative functional roles and interactions. To this end, we screened the 2,038 genes in the Allen Developing Mouse Brain Atlas database expressed at E18.5 and we identified 135 genes expressed within the IPN. The functional analysis of these genes highlighted an overrepresentation of gene families related to neuron development, cell morphogenesis and axon guidance. The interactome analysis within each IPN domain yielded specific networks that mainly involve members of the ephrin/Eph and Cadherin families, transcription factors and molecules related to synaptic neurotransmission. These results bring to light specific mechanisms that might participate in the formation, molecular regionalization, axon guidance and connectivity of the different IPN domains. This genoarchitectonic model of the IPN enables data on gene expression and interactions to be integrated and interpreted, providing a basis for the further study of the connectivity and function of this poorly understood nuclear complex under both normal and pathological conditions.