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Developmental gene expression redefines the mammalian brain stem

Watson, C, Kirkcaldie, M ORCID: 0000-0003-3285-0168 and Puelles, L 2017 , 'Developmental gene expression redefines the mammalian brain stem', in J Kass (ed.), Evolution of Nervous Systems 2e , Elsevier, United Kingdom, pp. 467-475.

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The study of developmental gene expression has exposed major errors in traditional representations of brain stem organization.The major misunderstandings concern the status of the isthmus, the pons, and the pretectal area. The isthmus is themost rostral segment of the hindbrain, separating the midbrain from the first rhombomere, whereas traditional schemesincorrectly consider the isthmus to be part of the midbrain. The basilar pons is developmentally restricted to rhombomeres 3and 4, but human anatomy texts represent the “pons” (as distinct from “medulla oblongata”) as extending from the midbrainto rhombomere 7. The reason for this misunderstanding is that the basilar pons in humans spreads across the surface to coverlarge parts of the hindbrain. In the great majority of mammals, the basilar pons is clearly restricted to its original location inrhombomeres 3 and 4. The pretectal region, marked by the presence of the posterior commissure, has been arbitrarilyclassified as part of the midbrain for over a hundred years. Recent gene expression studies show that it belongs to thediencephalon and not to the midbrain. The human neuroanatomical and neurological literature has failed to take account ofthe evidence from developmental gene expression, and this will continue to handicap brain research and clinical neurology

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Watson, C and Kirkcaldie, M and Puelles, L
Keywords: brainstem,development,neuroanatomy
Publisher: Elsevier
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/B978-0-12-804042-3.00138-X
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Copyright 2017 Elsevier Inc.

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