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J Neurosci 2012 Nov 28;3248:17172-85. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0885-12.2012.
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Opposing roles for Hoxa2 and Hoxb2 in hindbrain oligodendrocyte patterning.

Miguez A , Ducret S , Di Meglio T , Parras C , Hmidan H , Haton C , Sekizar S , Mannioui A , Vidal M , Kerever A , Nyabi O , Haigh J , Zalc B , Rijli FM , Thomas JL .

Oligodendrocytes are the myelin-forming cells of the vertebrate CNS. Little is known about the molecular control of region-specific oligodendrocyte development. Here, we show that oligodendrogenesis in the mouse rostral hindbrain, which is organized in a metameric series of rhombomere-derived (rd) territories, follows a rhombomere-specific pattern, with extensive production of oligodendrocytes in the pontine territory (r4d) and delayed and reduced oligodendrocyte production in the prepontine region (r2d, r3d). We demonstrate that segmental organization of oligodendrocytes is controlled by Hox genes, namely Hoxa2 and Hoxb2. Specifically, Hoxa2 loss of function induced a dorsoventral enlargement of the Olig2/Nkx2.2-expressing oligodendrocyte progenitor domain, whereas conditional Hoxa2 overexpression in the Olig2(+) domain inhibited oligodendrogenesis throughout the brain. In contrast, Hoxb2 deletion resulted in a reduction of the pontine oligodendrogenic domain. Compound Hoxa2(-/-)/Hoxb2(-/-) mutant mice displayed the phenotype of Hoxb2(-/-) mutants in territories coexpressing Hoxa2 and Hoxb2 (rd3, rd4), indicating that Hoxb2 antagonizes Hoxa2 during rostral hindbrain oligodendrogenesis. This study provides the first in vivo evidence that Hox genes determine oligodendrocyte regional identity in the mammalian brain.

PubMed ID: 23197710
PMC ID: PMC6621859
Article link: J Neurosci

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: hoxa2 hoxb2 rd3

References [+] :
Albert, Extensive cortical remyelination in patients with chronic multiple sclerosis. 2007, Pubmed