Expression of regulatory genes in the embryonic brain of a lizard and implications for understanding pallial organization and evolution
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The comparison of gene expression patterns in the embryonic brain of mouse and chicken is being essential for understanding pallial organization. However, the scarcity of gene expression data in reptiles, crucial for understanding evolution, makes it difficult to identify homologues of pallial divisions
in different amniotes. We cloned and analyzed the expression of the genes Emx1, Lhx2, Lhx9, and Tbr1 in the embryonic telencephalon of the lacertid lizard Psammodromus algirus. The comparative expression patterns of these genes, critical for pallial development, are better understood when using a recently proposed six-part model of pallial divisions. The lizard medial pallium, expressing all genes, includes the medial and dorsomedial cortices, and the majority of the dorsal cortex, except the region of the lateral cortical superposition. The latter is rich in Lhx9 expression, being excluded as a candidate of dorsal or lateral pallia, and may belong to a distinct dorsolateral pallium, which extends from rostral to caudal levels. Thus, the neocortex homolog cannot be found in the classical reptilian dorsal cortex, but perhaps in a small Emx1-expressing/Lhx9-negative area at the front of the telencephalon, resembling the avian hyperpallium. The ventral pallium, expressing Lhx9, but not Emx1, gives rise to the dorsal ventricular ridge and appears comparable to the avian nidopallium. We also identified a distinct ventrocaudal pallial sector comparable to the avian arcopallium and to part of the mammalian pallial amygdala. These data open new venues for understanding the organization and evolution of the pallium.
Is part ofJournal of Comparative Neurology, 2017, vol. 526, núm. 1, p. 166-202.
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