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EMBO Rep. 2013 Feb;14(2):184-90. doi: 10.1038/embor.2012.215. Epub 2013 Jan 18.

Endogenous electric currents might guide rostral migration of neuroblasts.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of California, Davis, 3301 C Street, Sacramento, California 95816, USA.


Mechanisms that guide directional migration of neuroblasts from the subventricular zone (SVZ) are not well understood. We report here that endogenous electric currents serve as a guidance cue for neuroblast migration. We identify the existence of naturally occurring electric currents (1.5±0.6 μA/cm(2), average field strength of ∼3 mV/mm) along the rostral migration path in adult mouse brain. Electric fields of similar strength direct migration of neuroblasts from the SVZ in culture and in brain slices. The purinergic receptor P2Y1 mediates this migration. The results indicate that naturally occurring electric currents serve as a new guidance mechanism for rostral neuronal migration.

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