We investigate the origin story of the mdDA neuron in order to understand the mdDA system in the healthy, adult brain as well as in the adult brain during pathological conditions. We examined the molecular pathway of transcription factors Engrailed 1, Pitx3 and Nkx2.9, that are required to code mdDA neurons. Furthermore, we aimed to unravel the molecular coding that define the molecular and functional differences between SN and VTA neurons. Together this work contributes to the general knowledge of the developing mdDA neurons and the sensitivity to programmed cells death that characterizes the SN subset of mdDA neurons.
Thesis (complete) (Embargo until 21 December 2026)
Chapter 1: Mesodiencephalic dopaminergic neurons: the origin story (Embargo until 21 December 2026)
Chapter 4: Pitx3 is essential for Substantia Nigra development by orchestrating neuronal migration and survival: A possible role for Fgf13 (Embargo until 21 December 2026)
Chapter 5: Pitx3 and En1 determine the size and molecular programming of the dopaminergic neuronal pool (Embargo until 21 December 2026)
Chapter 6: Nkx2.9 programs mesodiencephalic dopaminergic neurons early in development (Embargo until 21 December 2026)
Chapter 7: General Discussion (Embargo until 21 December 2026)
Chapter 8: English summary | Nederlandse samenvatting (Embargo until 21 December 2026)
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