The anterior part of the embryonic telencephalon gives rise to several brain regions that are important for animal behavior, including the frontal cortex (FC) and the olfactory bulb. The FC plays an important role in decision-making behaviors, such as social and cognitive behavior, and the olfactory bulb is involved in olfaction. Here, we show the organizing activity of fibroblast growth factor 8 (Fgf8) in the regionalization of the anterior telencephalon, specifically the FC and the olfactory bulb. Misexpression of Fgf8 in the most anterior part of the mouse telencephalon at embryonic day 11.5 (E11.5) by ex utero electroporation resulted in a lateral shift of dorsal FC subdivision markers and a lateral expansion of the dorsomedial part of the FC, the future anterior cingulate and prelimbic cortex. Fgf8-transfected brains had lacked ventral FC, including the future orbital cortex, which was replaced by the expanded olfactory bulb. The olfactory region occupied a larger area of the FC when transfection efficiency of Fgf8 was higher. These results suggest that Fgf8 regulates the proportions of the FC and olfactory bulb in the anterior telencephalon and has a medializing effect on the formation of FC subdivisions.
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