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J Neurosci. 2006 Dec 20;26(51):13273-8.

Molecular interaction between projection neuron precursors and invading interneurons via stromal-derived factor 1 (CXCL12)/CXCR4 signaling in the cortical subventricular zone/intermediate zone.

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Institut de Biologie du Développement de Marseille Luminy, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Université de Mediterranée, 13288 Marseille, France.


Most cortical interneurons are generated in the subpallial ganglionic eminences and migrate tangentially to their final destinations in the neocortex. Within the cortex, interneurons follow mainly stereotype routes in the subventricular zone/intermediate zone (SVZ/IZ) and in the marginal zone. It has been suggested that interactions between invading interneurons and locally generated projection neurons are implicated in the temporal and spatial regulation of the invasion process. However, so far experimental evidence for such interactions is lacking. We show here that the chemokine stromal-derived factor 1 (SDF-1; CXCL12) is expressed in the main invasion route for cortical interneurons in the SVZ/IZ. Most SDF-1-positive cells are proliferating and express the homeodomain transcription factors Cux1 and Cux2. Using MASH-1 mutant mice in concert with the interneuron marker DLX, we exclude that interneurons themselves produce the chemokine in an autocrine manner. We conclude that the SDF-1-expressing cell population represents the precursors of projection neurons during their transition and amplification in the SVZ/IZ. Using mice lacking the SDF-1 receptor CXCR4 or Pax6, we demonstrate that SDF-1 expression in the cortical SVZ/IZ is essential for recognition of this pathway by interneurons. These results represent the first evidence for a molecular interaction between precursors of projection neurons and invading interneurons during corticogenesis.

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