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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2006 Sep;7(9):687-96. Epub 2006 Aug 2.

The origin and specification of cortical interneurons.

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  • 1Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York 10021, USA.


GABA-containing interneurons are crucial to both the development and function of the cerebral cortex. Unlike cortical projection neurons, which have a relatively conserved set of characteristics, interneurons include multiple phenotypes that vary on morphological, physiological and neurochemical axes. This diversity, and the relatively late, context-dependent maturation of defining features, has challenged efforts to uncover the transcriptional control of cortical interneuron development. Here, we discuss recent data that are beginning to illuminate the origins and specification of distinct subgroups of cortical interneurons.

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