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Development. 2010 Apr;137(7):1035-44. doi: 10.1242/dev.046417.

Wnt signaling and its downstream target N-myc regulate basal progenitors in the developing neocortex.

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1
Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan.

Abstract

Basal progenitors (also called non-surface dividing or intermediate progenitors) have been proposed to regulate the number of neurons during neocortical development through expanding cells committed to a neuronal fate, although the signals that govern this population have remained largely unknown. Here, we show that N-myc mediates the functions of Wnt signaling in promoting neuronal fate commitment and proliferation of neural precursor cells in vitro. Wnt signaling and N-myc also contribute to the production of basal progenitors in vivo. Expression of a stabilized form of beta-catenin, a component of the Wnt signaling pathway, or of N-myc increased the numbers of neocortical basal progenitors, whereas conditional deletion of the N-myc gene reduced these and, as a likely consequence, the number of neocortical neurons. These results reveal that Wnt signaling via N-myc is crucial for the control of neuron number in the developing neocortex.

PMID:
20215343
DOI:
10.1242/dev.046417
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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