Dynamic and cell-specific DACH1 expression in human neocortical and striatal development

Valentina Castiglioni, Andrea Faedo, Marco Onorati, Vittoria Dickinson Bocchi, Zhen Li, Raffaele Iennaco, Romina Vuono, Gaetano P. Bulfamante, Luca Muzio, Gianvito Martino, Nenad Sestan, Roger A. Barker, Elena Cattaneo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DACH1 is the human homolog of the Drosophila dachshund gene, which is involved in the development of the eye, nervous system, and limbs in the fly. Here, we systematically investigate DACH1 expression patterns during human neurodevelopment, from 5 to 21 postconceptional weeks. By immunodetection analysis, we found that DACH1 is highly expressed in the proliferating neuroprogenitors of the developing cortical ventricular and subventricular regions, while it is absent in the more differentiated cortical plate. Single-cell global transcriptional analysis revealed that DACH1 is specifically enriched in neuroepithelial and ventricular radial glia cells of the developing human neocortex. Moreover, we describe a previously unreported DACH1 expression in the human striatum, in particular in the striatal medium spiny neurons. This finding qualifies DACH1 as a new striatal projection neuron marker, together with PPP1R1B, BCL11B, and EBF1. We finally compared DACH1 expression profile in human and mouse forebrain, where we observed spatio-temporal similarities in its expression pattern thus providing a precise developmental description of DACH1 in the 2 mammalian species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2115-2124
Number of pages10
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • DACH1
  • Human neocortex
  • Human striatum
  • Medium spiny neurons
  • Neuroepithelial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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