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Overview

The Nfib gene is required for normal brain and lung development [1][2]. Animals lacking Nfib die at birth without taking a breath because their lungs fail to mature normally. The arrest of lung development in Nfib-/- mice is at the late-pseudogladular, early saccular stage in lung maturation and is similar in some ways to the failure in lung development seen in glucocorticoid receptor knockout mice.

Along with this lethal lung defect, Nfib-/- animals also have severe defects in brain development showing callosal agenesis, aberrant hippocampus formation and altered formation of the basilar pons. Nfib has been shown to regulate the "gliogenic switch", the process by which multipotential neural progenitors switch from producing neuronal progenitors to producing glial progenitors [3].

See NFIA for a general description of the NFI gene family. [2][4][2]

References
  1. Steele-Perkins G et al. The transcription factor gene Nfib is essential for both lung maturation and brain development. Mol. Cell. Biol., 25(2):685-98. (PMID 15632069)
  2. Gründer A et al. Nuclear factor I-B (Nfib) deficient mice have severe lung hypoplasia. Mech. Dev., 112(1-2):69-77. (PMID 11850179)
  1. Deneen B et al. The transcription factor NFIA controls the onset of gliogenesis in the developing spinal cord. Neuron, 52(6):953-68. (PMID 17178400)
  2. Plachez C et al. Nuclear factor I gene expression in the developing forebrain. J. Comp. Neurol., 508(3):385-401. (PMID 18335562)
Figures
FIGURE 1 Fig. 1. Failure of maturation in Nfib-/- lungs
Transverse sections of E17.5 lungs (A-C) were stained with H&E and E15.5 lungs (D-F) were stained with a monoclonal antibody to a smooth muscle actin (SMA) and counterstained with nuclear fast red. E17.5 +/+ lungs (A) show normal sacculation (open areas that cause a Swiss cheese appearance) while -/+ lungs (B) have reduced sacculation and -/- lungs (C) show essentially no sacculation. E15.5 lungs of all three genotypes (+/+, D; -/+, E and -/-, F) showed similar cellular morphology and SMA staining (brown color) in smooth muscle surrounding bronchioles (arrows) and vessels (arrowheads). Copyright © American Society for Microbiology, Mol. Cell. Biol. Vol. 25, No. 2, p. 685-698, 2005.
This figure was created by the authors of this article. The authors of this article have provided the assurance that this figure constitutes their original work.