Transcription factors and the genetic organization of brain stem respiratory neurons

Paul A. Gray
2008 Journal of applied physiology  
Gray PA. Transcription factors and the genetic organization of brain stem respiratory neurons. Breathing is a genetically determined behavior generated by neurons in the brain stem. Transcription factors, in part, determine the basic developmental identity of neurons, but the relationships between these genes and the neural populations generating and modulating respiration are unclear. The diversity of brain stem populations has been proposed to result from a combinatorial code of transcription
more » ... factor expression corresponding to the anterior-posterior (A-P) and dorsal-ventral (D-V) location of a neuron's birth. I provide a schematic of transcription factor coding identifying at least 15 genetically distinct D-V subdivisions of brain stem neurons that, combined with A-P patterning, may provide a genetic organization of the brain stem in general, with the eventual goal of describing respiratory populations in particular. Using a combination of fate mapping in transgenic mouse lines and immunohistochemistry, we confirm the parabrachial nuclei are derived from a subset of Atoh1 expression progenitor neurons. I hypothesize the Kölliker-Fuse nucleus can be uniquely defined in the neonate mouse by the coexpression of the transcription factor FoxP2 in Atoh1-derived neurons of rhombomere 1. breathing; development Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: P. A. Gray,
doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01383.2007 pmid:18218908 fatcat:63tcznxrvrda3lr5gbdg33e34q