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Cereb Cortex. 2013 Aug;23(8):1765-73. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhs183. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

'Til Eph do us part': intercellular signaling via Eph receptors and ephrin ligands guides cerebral cortical development from birth through maturation.

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Department of Biology and The Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057, USA.


Eph receptors, the largest family of surface-bound receptor tyrosine kinases and their ligands, the ephrins, mediate a wide variety of cellular interactions in most organ systems throughout both development and maturity. In the forming cerebral cortex, Eph family members are broadly and dynamically expressed in particular sets of cortical cells at discrete times. Here, we review the known functions of Eph-mediated intercellular signaling in the generation of progenitors, the migration of maturing cells, the differentiation of neurons, the formation of functional connections, and the choice between life and death during corticogenesis. In synthesizing these results, we posit a signaling paradigm in which cortical cells maintain a life history of Eph-mediated intercellular interactions that guides subsequent cellular decision-making.


Eph/ephrin; cerebral cortex; development; differentiation; parcellation; proliferation

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