A Bird’s Eye View of Vertebrate Forebrain Development

Sandeep Gupta, Jonaki Sen


Development of the vertebrate forebrain is a complex process involving the interplay of many different signaling pathways and their downstream effectors. Despite morphological differences among the forebrains of different vertebrate classes there is a remarkable degree of conservation in the basic molecular players and the mechanisms involved in its development. A large body of knowledge about this process has been built up over the years through studies carried out in diverse model systems ranging from fi shes to mammals. However, several important aspects of forebrain development remain unexplored till today. In this review we have summarized the information currently available on the molecular mechanisms involved in vertebrate forebrain development with particular emphasis on early events that pattern the forebrain along the anteriorposterior as well as the dorsal-ventral axis. We have highlighted the contribution of the developing chick embryo towards the understanding of mechanisms regulating forebrain development. We have also described the recent advances made in molecular techniques that have made the avian model system an attractive option for studying vertebrate forebrain development.

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