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olig2-Expressing hindbrain cells are required for migrating facial motor neurons.

The complicated trajectory of facial motor neuron migration requires coordination of intrinsic signals and cues from the surrounding environment. Migration begins in rhombomere (r) 4 where facial motor neurons are born and proceeds in a caudal direction. Once facial motor neurons reach their target rhombomeres, they migrate laterally and radially from the ventral neural tube. In zebrafish, as facial motor neurons migrate through r5/r6, they pass near cells that express olig2, which encodes a bHLH transcription factor. In this study, we found that olig2 function is required for facial motor neurons to complete their caudal migration into r6 and r7 and form stereotypical clusters. Additionally, embryos that lack mafba function, in which facial motor neurons also fail to complete caudal migration, lack olig2 expression in r5 and r6. Our data raise the possibility that cells expressing olig2 are intermediate targets that help guide facial motor neuron migration.

Pubmed ID: 22275004


  • Zannino DA
  • Sagerström CG
  • Appel B


Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists

Publication Data

February 1, 2012

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH064913
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: NS038183
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: NS046668
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01 NS038183
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01 NS046668
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01 NS046668-06A1
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: T32 MH064913

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Body Patterning
  • Cell Movement
  • Motor Neurons
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Rhombencephalon
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins