Insights into the organization of dorsal spinal cord pathways from an evolutionarily conserved raldh2 intronic enhancer

Hozana A Castillo, Roberta M Cravo, Ana P Azambuja, Marcos S Simoes-Costa, Sylvia Sura-Trueba, Jose Gonzalez, Esfir Slonimsky, Karla Almeida, Jose G Abreu, Marcio A Alfonso de Almeida, Tiago P Sobreira, Saulo H Pires de Oliveira, Paulo S Lopes de Oliveira, Iskra A Signore, Alicia Colombo, Miguel L Concha, Tatjana S Spengler, Marianne Bronner-Fraser, Marcelo Nobrega, Nadia RosenthalJose Xavier-Neto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Comparative studies of the tetrapod raldh2 (aldh1a2) gene, which encodes a retinoic acid (RA) synthesis enzyme, have led to the identification of a dorsal spinal cord enhancer. Enhancer activity is directed dorsally to the roof plate and dorsal-most (dI1) interneurons through predicted Tcf- and Cdx-homeodomain binding sites and is repressed ventrally via predicted Tgif homeobox and ventral Lim-homeodomain binding sites. Raldh2 and Math1/Cath1 expression in mouse and chicken highlights a novel, transient, endogenous Raldh2 expression domain in dI1 interneurons, which give rise to ascending circuits and intraspinal commissural interneurons, suggesting roles for RA in the ontogeny of spinocerebellar and intraspinal proprioceptive circuits. Consistent with expression of raldh2 in the dorsal interneurons of tetrapods, we also found that raldh2 is expressed in dorsal interneurons throughout the agnathan spinal cord, suggesting ancestral roles for RA signaling in the ontogenesis of intraspinal proprioception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507 - 518
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Cite this