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Neuron. 2004 Oct 14;44(2):251-61.

Short- and long-range attraction of cortical GABAergic interneurons by neuregulin-1.

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Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Universidad Miguel Hernández, 03550 San Joan d'Alacant, Spain.


Most cortical interneurons arise from the subcortical telencephalon, but the molecules that control their migration remain largely unidentified. Here, we show that different isoforms of Neuregulin-1 are expressed in the developing cortex and in the route that migrating interneurons follow toward the cortex, whereas a population of the migrating interneurons express ErbB4, a receptor for Neuregulin-1. The different isoforms of Neuregulin-1 act as short- and long-range attractants for migrating interneurons, and perturbing ErbB4 function in vitro decreases the number of interneurons that tangentially migrate to the cortex. In vivo, loss of Neuregulin-1/ErbB4 signaling causes an alteration in the tangential migration of cortical interneurons and a reduction in the number of GABAergic interneurons in the postnatal cortex. These observations provide evidence that Neuregulin-1 and its ErbB4 receptor directly control neuronal migration in the nervous system.

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