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Deficiency of Parvalbumin-positive cortical interneurons in Zbtb20 knock out mice

D. Stoyanov, S. Pavlov, S. Stoykova, AB. Tonchev


The developing mammalian forebrain is divided into two major regions: the pallium and the subpallium. The pallium is the site of generation of all glutamatergic pyramidal neurons while the subpalium, including the Medial ganglionic eminence (MGE), Lateral ganglionic eminence (LGE) and Caudal ganglionic eminence (CGE), gives rise to all cortical and striatal interneurons (INs), which are mostly GABAergic. In particular, MGE and CGE are the site of origin of nearly all cortical INs. The genesis of the large variety of INs is controlled by an array of genes expressed in specific locations during defined time windows. ZBTB20, a zinc finger/BTB domain-containing 20 gene, is a transcriptional repressor known for its critical role during hippocampal development. The expression of Zbtb20 in the ganglionic eminences warranted examination of its role for cortical INs. To address this issue, we took advantage of the Zbtb20 knock out (KO) mice generated by us. We studied the expression of Zbtb20 in MGE and CGE progenitors and found that nearly all of the Nkx2.1-positive precursors, which generate cortical Parvalbumin (PV)-positive INs, expressed Zbtb20. The cortices of the homozygous Zbtb20 KO mice exhibited a nearly complete absence of PV+ INs, while the heterozygous mutants showed only a slight decrease of these cells. These data suggest a dose-dependent effect of Zbtb20 for proper generation of PV+ cortical INs, the largest inhibitory neuronal fraction in the cortex.



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About The Authors

D. Stoyanov

S. Pavlov

S. Stoykova

AB. Tonchev

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