Talk:Neural - Thalamus Development

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2021, December 3) Embryology Neural - Thalamus Development. Retrieved from


Nakagawa Y. (2019). Development of the thalamus: From early patterning to regulation of cortical functions. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol , 8, e345. PMID: 31034163 DOI.

Development of the thalamus: From early patterning to regulation of cortical functions Abstract The thalamus is a brain structure of the vertebrate diencephalon that plays a central role in regulating diverse functions of the cerebral cortex. In traditional view of vertebrate neuroanatomy, the thalamus includes three regions, dorsal thalamus, ventral thalamus, and epithalamus. Recent molecular embryological studies have redefined the thalamus and the associated axial nomenclature of the diencephalon in the context of forebrain patterning. This new view has provided a useful conceptual framework for studies on molecular mechanisms of patterning, neurogenesis and fate specification in the thalamus as well as the guidance mechanisms for thalamocortical axons. Additionally, the availability of genetic tools in mice has led to important findings on how thalamic development is linked to the development of other brain regions, particularly the cerebral cortex. This article will give an overview of the organization of the embryonic thalamus and how progenitor cells in the thalamus generate neurons that are organized into discrete nuclei. I will then discuss how thalamic development is orchestrated with the development of the cerebral cortex and other brain regions. This article is categorized under: Nervous System Development > Vertebrates: Regional Development Nervous System Development > Vertebrates: General Principles. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. KEYWORDS: neocortex; thalamocortical projections; thalamus PMID: 31034163 DOI: 10.1002/wdev.345


Thalamus Controls Development and Expression of Arousal States in Visual Cortex

Murata Y & Colonnese MT. (2018). Thalamus Controls Development and Expression of Arousal States in Visual Cortex. J. Neurosci. , 38, 8772-8786. PMID: 30150360 DOI. Murata Y1, Colonnese MT2. Author information Abstract Two major checkpoints of development in cerebral cortex are the acquisition of continuous spontaneous activity and the modulation of this activity by behavioral state. Despite the critical importance of these functions, the circuit mechanisms of their development remain unknown. Here we use the rodent visual system as a model to test the hypothesis that the locus of circuit change responsible for the developmental acquisition of continuity and state dependence measured in sensory cortex is relay thalamus, rather than the local cortical circuitry or the interconnectivity of the two structures. We conducted simultaneous recordings in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) and primary visual cortex (VC) of awake, head-fixed male and female rats using linear multielectrode arrays throughout early development. We find that activity in dLGN becomes continuous and positively correlated with movement (a measure of state dependence) on P13, the same day as VC, and that these properties are not dependent on VC activity. By contrast, silencing dLGN after P13 causes activity in VC to become discontinuous and movement to suppress, rather than augment, cortical firing, effectively reversing development. Thalamic bursting, a core characteristic of non-aroused states, emerged later, on P16, suggesting these processes are developmentally independent. Together our results indicate that cellular or circuit changes in relay thalamus are critical drivers for the maturation of background activity, which occurs around term in humans.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The developing brain acquires two crucial features, continuous spontaneous activity and its modulation by arousal state, around term in humans and before the onset of sensory experience in rodents. This developmental transition in cortical activity, as measured by electroencephalogram (EEG), is an important milestone for normal brain development and indicates a good prognosis for babies born preterm and/or suffering brain damage such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. By using the awake rodent visual system as a model, we identify changes occurring at the level of relay thalamus, the major input to cortex, as the critical driver of EEG maturation. These results could help understand the circuit basis of human EEG development to improve diagnosis and treatment of infants in vulnerable situations. KEYWORDS: cortex; preterm; resting state; spontaneous activity; thalamus PMID: 30150360 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1519-18.2018


Wnt3 and Wnt3a are required for induction of the mid-diencephalic organizer in the caudal forebrain

Neural Dev. 2012 Apr 4;7:12.

Mattes B, Weber S, Peres J, Chen Q, Davidson G, Houart C, Scholpp S. Source Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Toxicology and Genetics (ITG), Karlsruhe, Germany.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: A fundamental requirement for development of diverse brain regions is the function of local organizers at morphological boundaries. These organizers are restricted groups of cells that secrete signaling molecules, which in turn regulate the fate of the adjacent neural tissue. The thalamus is located in the caudal diencephalon and is the central relay station between the sense organs and higher brain areas. The mid-diencephalic organizer (MDO) orchestrates the development of the thalamus by releasing secreted signaling molecules such as Shh. RESULTS: Here we show that canonical Wnt signaling in the caudal forebrain is required for the formation of the Shh-secreting MD organizer in zebrafish. Wnt signaling induces the MDO in a narrow time window of 4 hours - between 10 and 14 hours post fertilization. Loss of Wnt3 and Wnt3a prevents induction of the MDO, a phenotype also observed upon blockage of canonical Wnt signaling per se. Pharmaceutical activation of the canonical Wnt pathways in Wnt3/Wnt3a compound morphant embryos is able to restore the lack of the MDO. After blockage of Wnt signaling or knock-down of Wnt3/Wnt3a we find an increase of apoptotic cells specifically within the organizer primordium. Consistently, blockage of apoptosis restores the thalamus organizer MDO in Wnt deficient embryos. CONCLUSION: We have identified canonical Wnt signaling as a novel pathway, that is required for proper formation of the MDO and consequently for the development of the major relay station of the brain - the thalamus. We propose that Wnt ligands are necessary to maintain the primordial tissue of the organizer during somitogenesis by suppressing Tp53-mediated apoptosis.

PMID 22475147