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Anatomy Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 106529, 14 pages
Review Article

Molecular Regulation of Striatal Development: A Review

Brain Repair Group, Cardiff University, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3AX, UK

Received 16 June 2011; Accepted 7 October 2011

Academic Editor: David Bueno

Copyright © 2012 A. E. Evans et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The central nervous system is composed of the brain and the spinal cord. The brain is a complex organ that processes and coordinates activities of the body in bilaterian, higher-order animals. The development of the brain mirrors its complex function as it requires intricate genetic signalling at specific times, and deviations from this can lead to brain malformations such as anencephaly. Research into how the CNS is specified and patterned has been studied extensively in chick, fish, frog, and mice, but findings from the latter will be emphasised here as higher-order mammals show most similarity to the human brain. Specifically, we will focus on the embryonic development of an important forebrain structure, the striatum (also known as the dorsal striatum or neostriatum). Over the past decade, research on striatal development in mice has led to an influx of new information about the genes involved, but the precise orchestration between the genes, signalling molecules, and transcription factors remains unanswered. We aim to summarise what is known to date about the tightly controlled network of interacting genes that control striatal development. This paper will discuss early telencephalon patterning and dorsal ventral patterning with specific reference to the genes involved in striatal development.