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Development. 2001 Nov;128(22):4635-44.

The adhesion molecule TAG-1 mediates the migration of cortical interneurons from the ganglionic eminence along the corticofugal fiber system.

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Department of Basic Science, University of Crete Medical School and Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, PO Box 1527, 711 10 Heraklion, Greece.


Cortical nonpyramidal cells, the GABA-containing interneurons, originate mostly in the medial ganglionic eminence of the ventral telencephalon and follow tangential migratory routes to reach the dorsal telencephalon. Although several genes that play a role in this migration have been identified, the underlying cellular and molecular cues are not fully understood. We provide evidence that the neural cell adhesion molecule TAG-1 mediates the migration of cortical interneurons. We show that the migration of these neurons occurs along the TAG-1-expressing axons of the developing corticofugal system. The spatial and temporal pattern of expression of TAG-1 on corticofugal fibers coincides with the order of appearance of GABAergic cells in the developing cortex. Blocking the function of TAG-1, but not of L1, another adhesion molecule and binding partner of TAG-1, results in a marked reduction of GABAergic neurons in the cortex. These observations reveal a mechanism by which the adhesion molecule TAG-1, known to be involved in axonal pathfinding, also takes part in neuronal migration.

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