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Development. 2006 Aug;133(16):3245-54.

Basement membrane attachment is dispensable for radial glial cell fate and for proliferation, but affects positioning of neuronal subtypes.

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  • 1Institute for Stem Cell Research, GSF, National Research Center for Environment and Health, Ingolstädter Landstr.1, D-85764 Neuherberg/Munich, Germany.


Radial glial cells have been shown to act as neuronal precursors in the developing cortex and to maintain their radial processes attached to the basement membrane (BM) during cell division. Here, we examined a potential role of direct signalling from the BM to radial glial cells in three mouse mutants where radial glia attachment to the BM is disrupted. This is the case if the nidogen-binding site of the laminin gamma1 chain is mutated, in the absence of alpha6 integrin or of perlecan, an essential BM component. Surprisingly, cortical radial glial cells lacking contact to the BM were not affected in their proliferation, interkinetic nuclear migration, orientation of cell division and neurogenesis. Only a small subset of precursors was located ectopically within the cortical parenchyma. Notably, however, neuronal subtype composition was severely disturbed at late developmental stages (E18) in the cortex of the laminin gamma1III4-/- mice. Thus, although BM attachment seems dispensable for precursor cells, an intact BM is required for adequate neuronal composition of the cerebral cortex.

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