Speaker: Prof.Carmen Birchmeier(Charité -Universitätsmedizin Berlin)

Time: 12:30-13:30,Dec. 04,2019

Venue: Library 111 lecture hall

Neuronal circuits in the hindbrain that control breathing and vocalization


Carmen Birchmeier, Developmental Biology / Signal Transduction Group, Max-Delbrueck-Centrum (MDC), Robert-Roessle-Strasse 10, 13125 Berlin.

Vocalization in young mice is an innate response to isolation or mechanical stimulation. Neuronal circuits that control vocalization and breathing overlap and rely on motor neurons that innervate laryngeal and expiratory muscles, but the brain center that coordinates these motor neurons has not been identified. I will present recent work from the laboratory demonstrating that the hindbrain nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) is essential for vocalization and active expieration in mice. In addition, I will present data on a frameshift mutation (FS) in the human/mouse LBX1/Lbx1 gene that alters the C-terminus of LBX1 without disturbing its DNA-binding domain. The mutation causes severe hypoventilation in humans and in mice by affecting neurons that are essential for breathing. Our work revealed an unusual pathomechanism where a mutation selectively interferes with a small subset of the functions of a transcription factor and its ability to correctly cooperate with other factors during neuronal development.

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