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Neuron. 2012 Feb 23;73(4):698-712. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.11.036.

A cascade of morphogenic signaling initiated by the meninges controls corpus callosum formation.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.

Abstract

The corpus callosum is the most prominent commissural connection between the cortical hemispheres, and numerous neurodevelopmental disorders are associated with callosal agenesis. By using mice either with meningeal overgrowth or selective loss of meninges, we have identified a cascade of morphogenic signals initiated by the meninges that regulates corpus callosum development. The meninges produce BMP7, an inhibitor of callosal axon outgrowth. This activity is overcome by the induction of expression of Wnt3 by the callosal pathfinding neurons, which antagonize the inhibitory effects of BMP7. Wnt3 expression in the cingulate callosal pathfinding axons is developmentally regulated by another BMP family member, GDF5, which is produced by the adjacent Cajal-Retzius neurons and turns on before outgrowth of the callosal axons. The effects of GDF5 are in turn under the control of a soluble GDF5 inhibitor, Dan, made by the meninges. Thus, the meninges and medial neocortex use a cascade of signals to regulate corpus callosum development.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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