Phenotypic effects of the weaver gene are evident in the embryonic cerebellum but not in the ventral midbrain

Shirley A. Bayer, Katherine V. Wills, Jianjun Wei, Yue Feng, Stephen R. Dlouhy, Marion E. Hodes, Tatyana Verina, Bernardino Ghetti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Degeneration of neurons in two structures, the cerebellum and the dopaminergic neurons in the ventral midbrain, is a well characterized action of the weaver gene. In order to see whether the gene has effects prenatally, both the cerebellum and the ventral midbrain were examined in mouse embryos genotyped for the weaver gene (wv, Girk2) on day E19. Anatomically matched sections of the midline cerebellar vermis were quantitatively analyzed 2 h after the dams were given a single injection of [3H]thymidine. A gene-dose effect was seen in the retardation of fissure development. This was more pronounced in homozygotes (wv/wv) and less so in heterozygotes(wv/+) when compared with wild type controls (+/+). Quantitative measures of the following features showed stepwise differences between genotypes so that the wv/wv are most affected and wv/+ are somewhat affected compared with +/+: surface length of the midline vermis, area of the entire midline vermis and the external germinal layer (egl), total number of cells in the egl, [3H]thymidine-labeled and -unlabeled egl cells, cells in the Purkinje cell layer, cells in the region of the deep nuclei, [3H]thymidine-labeled cells in the Purkinje cell layer (presumptive proliferating Bergmann glia), and [3H]thymidine-labeled cells in the region of the deep nuclei. In contrast to the obvious phenotypic effects of wv in the embryonic cerebellum, qualitative immunocytochemical examination of tyrosine hydroxylase staining in the ventral midbrains of the same embryos showed that the position and density of the presumptive dopaminergic neurons was similar in all genotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-137
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 23 1996


  • [H]thymidine autoradiography
  • cerebellar development
  • dopamine
  • tyrosine hydroxylase immunocytochemistry
  • weaver mutant mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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