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PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e28653. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028653. Epub 2011 Dec 13.

Inducible genetic lineage tracing of cortical hem derived Cajal-Retzius cells reveals novel properties.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Developmental Genes and Human Diseases, MOE, Institute of Life Science, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China.


During cortical development, Cajal-Retzius (CR) cells are among the earliest-born subclasses of neurons. These enigmatic neurons play an important role in cortical development through their expression of the extracellular protein, reelin. CR cells arise from discrete sources within the telencephalon, including the pallial-subpallial border and the medial (cortical hem) regions of the pallium. Combined evidence suggests that CR cells derived from distinct origins may have different distributions and functions. By tracing CR cells derived from the cortical hem using the inducible Cre transgenic mouse tool, Frizzled 10-CreER™, we examined the specific properties of hem-derived CR cells during cortical development. Our results show that the progenitor zone for later production of CR cells from the hem can be specifically marked as early as embryonic day 6.5 (E6.5), a pre-neural period. Moreover, using our Cre line, we found that some hem-derived CR cells migrated out along the fimbrial radial glial scaffold, which was also derived from the cortical hem, and preferentially settled in the hippocampal marginal zone, which indicated specific roles for hem-derived CR cells in hippocampal development.

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