A novel transient glutamatergic population migrating from the pallial-subpallial boundary contributes to neocortical development.

Teissier A, Griveau A, Vigier L, Piolot T, Borello U, Pierani A.

Source : J. Neurosci.

2010 Aug 24

Pmid : 20685999


The generation of a precise number of neural cells and the determination of their laminar fate are tightly controlled processes during development of the cerebral cortex. Using genetic tracing in mice, we have identified a population of glutamatergic neurons generated by Dbx1-expressing progenitors at the pallial-subpallial boundary predominantly at embryonic day 12.5 (E12.5) and subsequent to Cajal-Retzius cells. We show that these neurons migrate tangentially to populate the cortical plate (CP) at all rostrocaudal and mediolateral levels by E14.5. At birth, they homogeneously populate cortical areas and represent <5% of cortical cells. However, they are distributed into neocortical layers according to their birthdates and express the corresponding markers of glutamatergic differentiation (Tbr1, ER81, Cux2, Ctip2). Notably, this population dies massively by apoptosis at the completion of corticogenesis and represents 50% of dying neurons in the postnatal day 0 cortex. Specific genetic ablation of these transient Dbx1-derived CP neurons leads to a 20% decrease in neocortical cell numbers in perinatal animals. Our results show that a previously unidentified transient population of glutamatergic neurons migrates from extraneocortical regions over long distance from their generation site and participates in neocortical radial growth in a non-cell-autonomous manner.

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