Expression of the Otx2 homeobox gene in the developing mammalian brain: embryonic and adult expression in the pineal gland

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Otx2 is a vertebrate homeobox gene, which has been found to be essential for the development of rostral brain regions and appears to play a role in the development of retinal photoreceptor cells and pinealocytes. In this study, the temporal expression pattern of Otx2 was revealed in the rat brain, with special emphasis on the pineal gland throughout late embryonic and postnatal stages. Widespread high expression of Otx2 in the embryonic brain becomes progressively restricted in the adult to the pineal gland. Crx (cone-rod homeobox), a downstream target gene of Otx2, showed a pineal expression pattern similar to that of Otx2, although there was a distinct lag in time of onset. Otx2 protein was identified in pineal extracts and found to be localized in pinealocytes. Total pineal Otx2 mRNA did not show day-night variation, nor was it influenced by removal of the sympathetic input, indicating that the level of Otx2 mRNA appears to be independent of the photoneural input to the gland. Our results are consistent with the view that pineal expression of Otx2 is required for development and we hypothesize that it plays a role in the adult in controlling the expression of the cluster of genes associated with phototransduction and melatonin synthesis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)556-566
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Research areas

  • Age Factors, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Blotting, Northern, Blotting, Western, Brain, Cloning, Molecular, Embryo, Mammalian, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Immunohistochemistry, Otx Transcription Factors, Pineal Gland, Rats, Sequence Analysis, DNA

ID: 1092288