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Atypical Mouse Cerebellar Development Is Caused by Ectopic Expression of the Forkhead Box Transcription Factor HNF-3β

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To assess the role of hepatocyte nuclear factor-3β (HNF-3β) in hepatocyte-specific gene transcription, we reported the characterization of the liver phenotype with transgenic mice in which the -3-kb transthyretin (TTR) promoter functioned to increase HNF-3β expression. During breeding of the TTR-HNF-3β transgenic mice we noticed that they displayed severe ataxia. In this study, we describe the analysis of our transgenic cerebellar phenotype and demonstrate that ectopic expression of HNF-3β disrupted cerebellar morphogenesis and caused reduction in cerebellar size. In postnatal cerebellum, the HNF-3β transgene expression pattern is colocalized to glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cerebellar astrocytes and Bergmann glial cells. As a result of protracted expression, the transgenic cerebella are impaired in terms of astrocyte dispersal and formation of Bergmann glial cell processes. This caused a disruption in neuronal cell migration to the cortical laminar layers and Purkinje dendritic arbor maturation, thus leading to diminished foliation. Differential hybridization of cDNA arrays was used to identify altered expression of cerebellar genes, which is consistent with the observed defect in transgenic cerebellar morphogenesis and size as well as glial maturation. These include diminished expression of the brain lipid-binding protein, which is required for glial morphological differentiation, and the basic helix–loop–helix NeuroD/Beta2 and homeodomain Engrailed-2 transcription factors, which are required for normal cerebellar morphogenesis and foliation. Undetectable levels of ataxia telangiectasia (ATM), which is required for proper development of the Purkinje dendritic arbor, were found in postnatal transgenic cerebella. Furthermore, the transgenic cerebella displayed levels of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 elevated to 22 times greater than those measured for wild-type cerebella, an elevation consistent with the reduction in transgenic cerebellar size.
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Keywords: Cerebellar expression Transgenic mice Winged helix

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60607 2: ‡The Psychiatric Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60607

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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  • Gene Expression, The Journal of Liver Research will publish articles in all aspects of hepatology. Hepatology, as a research discipline, has seen unprecedented growth especially in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hepatic health and disease, which continues to have a major impact on understanding liver development, stem cells, carcinogenesis, tissue engineering, injury, repair, regeneration, immunology, metabolism, fibrosis, and transplantation. Continued research and improved understanding in these areas will have a meaningful impact on liver disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The existing journal Gene Expression has expanded its focus to become Gene Expression, The Journal of Liver Research to meet this growing demand. In its revised and expanded scope, the journal will publish high-impact original articles, reviews, short but complete articles, and special articles (editorials, commentaries, opinions) on all aspects of hepatology, making it a unique and invaluable resource for readers interested in this field. The expanded team, led by an Editor-in-Chief who is uniquely qualified and a renowned expert, along with a dynamic and functional editorial board, is determined to make this a premier journal in the field of hepatology.
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