Skip to main content
Presentation Time: 11:30-11:50
Home University: UNC-Chapel Hill
Research Mentor: Alain Burette, Neuroscience
Program: SMART
Research Title: Expression of the psychiatric risk gene transcription factor-4 (TCF4) in the developing macaque neocortex.

TCF4 is associated with a range of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, and Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome (PTHS). Although necessary to decipher TCF4 biology and guide future therapeutic approaches, our knowledge of TCF4 expression in the developing brain is still limited, especially in primates. Here, we combined in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry to characterize TCF4 expression in the rhesus macaque neocortex from gestational day 50 to 5 years of age.
We detected both Tcf4 transcript and TCF4 protein throughout the developing neocortex. However, both were most abundantly expressed in layers II and IV, contrasting with the uniform distribution previously reported across the mouse neocortex.Our experiments point to other differences. Whereas TCF4 is expressed in mouse astrocytes, we found barely detectable Tcf4 transcript and no detectable TCF4 protein macaque astrocytes. In conclusion, our data point to unexpected and potentially significant differences between TCF4 expression in mice and primates neocortex.