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Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2011 Jul;15(4):361-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2011.03.011. Epub 2011 May 23.

ApoER2 and VLDLR in the developing human telencephalon.

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Department of Histology and Embryology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150081, Heilongjiang Province, China.


The Reelin-Dab1 signaling pathway plays a crucial role in regulating the migration and position of cortical neurons during the development of the cerebral cortex. Mutation in Reelin may result in severe developmental disorders such as autosomal recessive lissencephaly. Apolipoprotein E receptor type-2 (ApoER2) and very low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR) are canonical receptors of Reelin, through which extracellular Reelin activates the intracellular adapter, Disabled1(Dab1), and subsequently interacts with other molecules. Although it is widely accepted that ApoER2 and VLDLR are indispensable components of the Reelin signaling pathway, little is known of their expression pattern in the laminated developing human brain. Here, we collected 18 cases of human fetal brains of 6-18 gestational weeks (GW) old and examined the expression of ApoER2 and VLDLR in the their telencephalon using immunocytochemical staining. We found that both receptors were absent in the preplate (PP) and the earliest stage of the cortical plate (CP). In later stages of CP development, ApoER2 was expressed earlier than VLDLR in the migrating neurons. Thus, the Reelin-Dab1 signaling pathway may not be involved in the formation of the preplate and deep layers of the CP. Instead, the pathway may act on neurons that are destined to form the more superficial layers of the CP. In addition, the pathway required ApoER2 only rather than both ApoER2 and VLDLR at the initiation of activity.

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