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A homeodomain code specifies astrocyte positional identity

Citation

Hochstim, Christian John (2007) A homeodomain code specifies astrocyte positional identity. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechETD:etd-07262008-115538

Abstract

Astrocytes constitute the most abundant cell type in the CNS, and play diverse functional roles, but the ontogenetic origins of this phenotypic diversity are poorly understood. We have investigated whether positional identity, a fundamental organizing principle governing the generation of neuronal subtype diversity, is also relevant to astrocyte diversification. We identified three positionally distinct subtypes of white matter astrocytes in the spinal cord, which can be distinguished by the combinatorial expression of Reelin and Slit1. These astrocyte subtypes derive from progenitor domains expressing the homeodomain transcription factors Pax6 and Nkx6.1, respectively. Loss- and gain-of-function experiments indicate that the positional identity of these astrocyte subtypes is controlled by Pax6 and Nkx6.1, in a combinatorial manner. Thus, positional identity is an organizing principle underlying astrocyte, as well as neuronal, subtype diversification, and is controlled by a homeodomain transcriptional code whose elements are re-utilized following the specification of neuronal identity earlier in development.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:astrocyte; astrocyte subtype; cell fate; glial cell; Nkx6.1; Pax6; positional identity; Reelin; Slit1
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Biology
Major Option:Biology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Anderson, David J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Bronner, Marianne E. (chair)
  • Anderson, David J. (co-chair)
  • Zinn, Kai George
  • Sternberg, Paul W.
Defense Date:23 May 2007
Author Email:hochstim (AT) usc.edu
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-07262008-115538
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechETD:etd-07262008-115538
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2984
Collection:CaltechTHESIS
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:06 Jul 2009
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 02:56

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