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Nat Neurosci. 2006 Jul;9(7):880-6. Epub 2006 Jun 18.

The first neurons of the human cerebral cortex.

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Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX13PT, UK.


We describe a distinctive, widespread population of neurons situated beneath the pial surface of the human embryonic forebrain even before complete closure of the neural tube. These 'predecessor' cells include the first neurons seen in the primordium of the cerebral cortex, before the onset of local neurogenesis. Morphological analysis, combined with the study of centrosome location, regional transcription factors and patterns of mitosis and neurogenesis, indicates that predecessor cells invade the cortical primordium by tangential migration from the subpallium. These neurons, described here for the first time, precede all other known cell types of the developing cortex.

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