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PLoS One. 2010 Aug 25;5(8):e12376. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012376.

Beta-catenin signaling negatively regulates intermediate progenitor population numbers in the developing cortex.

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Department of Pathology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.


Intermediate progenitor cells constitute a second proliferative cell type in the developing mammalian cerebral cortex. Little is known about the factors that govern the production of intermediate progenitors. Although persistent expression of stabilized beta-catenin was found to delay the maturation of radial glial progenitors into intermediate progenitors, the relationship between beta-catenin signaling and intermediate progenitors remains poorly understood. Using a transgenic reporter mouse for Axin2, a direct target of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, we observed that beta-catenin signaling is decreased in intermediate progenitor cells relative to radial glial progenitors. Conditional deletion of beta-catenin from mouse cortical neural progenitors increased intermediate progenitor numbers, while conditional expression of stabilized beta-catenin reduced the intermediate progenitor population. Together, these findings provide evidence that beta-catenin signaling in radial progenitors negatively regulates intermediate progenitor cell number during cortical development.

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