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Development. 2005 Mar;132(6):1295-304.

Progenitors resume generating neurons after temporary inhibition of neurogenesis by Notch activation in the mammalian cerebral cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Development and Differentiation, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.

Abstract

The mammalian cerebral cortex comprises six layers of neurons. Cortical progenitors in the ventricular zone generate neurons specific to each layer through successive cell divisions. Neurons of layer VI are generated at an early stage, whereas later-born neurons occupy progressively upper layers. The underlying molecular mechanisms of neurogenesis, however, are relatively unknown. In this study, we devised a system where the Notch pathway was activated spatiotemporally in the cortex by in vivo electroporation and Cre-mediated DNA recombination. Electroporation at E13.5 transferred DNA to early progenitors that gave rise to neurons of both low and upper layers. Forced expression of a constitutively active form of Notch (caNotch) at E13.5 inhibited progenitors from generating neurons and kept progenitors as proliferating radial glial cells. After subsequent transfection at E15.5 of a Cre expression vector to remove caNotch, double-transfected cells, in which caNotch was excised, migrated into the cortical plate and differentiated into neurons specific to upper layers. Bromodeoxyuridine-labeling experiments showed that the neurons were born after Cre transfection. These results indicate that cortical progenitors that had been temporarily subjected to Notch activation at an early stage generated neurons at later stages, but that the generation of low-layer neurons was skipped. Moreover, the double-transfected cells gave rise to upper-layer neurons, even after their transplantation into the E13.5 brain, indicating that the developmental state of progenitors is not halted by caNotch activity.

PMID:
15750183
DOI:
10.1242/dev.01693
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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