The expression of ErbB4 mRNA was examined in dorsal thalamic regions of chicks and rats. In rats, ErbB4 expression was observed in the habenular nuclei, the paraventricular nucleus, intermediodorsal nucleus, the central medial thalamic nucleus, the posterior nucleus, the parafascicular nucleus, the subparafascicular nucleus, the suprageniculate nucleus, the posterior limitans nucleus, the medial part of the medial geniculate nucleus, the peripeduncular nucleus, the posterior intralaminar nucleus, the lateral subparafascicular nucleus, the lateral posterior nucleus, and all ventral thalamic nuclei. In chicks, expression was observed in the subhabenular nucleus, the dorsomedialis posterior nucleus, the dorsointermedius posterior nucleus, the nucleus of the septomesencephalic tract, and areas surrounding the rotundus and ovoidalis nuclei, including the subrotundal and suprarotundal areas, and all ventral thalamic nuclei. Most cells within ovoidalis and rotundus were not labeled. The similar pattern of afferent and efferent projections originating from ErbB4-expressing regions of the mammalian and bird dorsal thalamus suggests that ErbB4 hybridizing cells may be derived from a single anlage that migrates into multiple thalamic regions. Most neurons in the rotundus and ovoidalis nuclei of chick may be homologous to unlabeled clusters of neurons intermingled with ErbB4-expressing cells of the mammalian posterior/intralaminar region.
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