Meander tail reveals a discrete developmental unit in the mouse cerebellum
Metabolic Networks and Pathways
Neural Tube Defects
Analyses of phenotypic mutations with altered patterns of cellular organization in invertebrate systems have lead to the identification of genes important to histogenesis. Efforts to identify genes defining segments or compartments in mammalian systems and demonstrate a role for such genes in the establishment of the cellular architectonics of the brain have been hampered by the absence of phenotypic mutations that reveal compartments. Evidence is presented that in the cerebellum of the mutant mouse, meander tail, there is an abrupt transition from the normal cytoarchitecture seen in the posterior lobes to a severely disorganized cellular pattern. Thus, in the anterior lobes the Purkinje cells are positioned randomly throughout the cortex, and other cellular layers, including the internal granule cell layer, do not form. In addition, radial Bergmann glial processes are virtually absent. One explanation for the discrete boundary of the affected area in the anterior portion of this mutant cerebellar cortex is that the meander tail gene influences compartmental cellular organization in mammalian brain.