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Neuron. 2001 Apr;30(1):79-89.

Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor is a motogen for interneurons migrating from the ventral to dorsal telencephalon.

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Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


Cortical interneurons arise from the proliferative zone of the ventral telencephalon, the ganglionic eminence, and migrate into the developing neocortex. The spatial patterns of migratory interneurons reflect the complementary expression of hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) and its receptor, MET, in the forebrain. Scatter assays on forebrain explants demonstrate regionally specific motogenic activity due to HGF/SF. In addition, exogenous ligand disrupts normal cell migration. Mice lacking the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (u-PAR), a key component of HGF/SF activation, exhibit deficient scatter activity in the forebrain, abnormal interneuron migration from the ganglionic eminence, and reduced interneurons in the frontal and parietal cortex. The data suggest that HGF/SF motogenic activity, which is essential for normal development of other organ systems, is a conserved mechanism that regulates trans-telencephalic migration of interneurons.

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