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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Oct 16;109(42):16974-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1204773109. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

Cell-type homologies and the origins of the neocortex.

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1
Department of Neurobiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Abstract

The six-layered neocortex is a uniquely mammalian structure with evolutionary origins that remain in dispute. One long-standing hypothesis, based on similarities in neuronal connectivity, proposes that homologs of the layer 4 input and layer 5 output neurons of neocortex are present in the avian forebrain, where they contribute to specific nuclei rather than to layers. We devised a molecular test of this hypothesis based on layer-specific gene expression that is shared across rodent and carnivore neocortex. Our findings establish that the layer 4 input and the layer 5 output cell types are conserved across the amniotes, but are organized into very different architectures, forming nuclei in birds, cortical areas in reptiles, and cortical layers in mammals.

PMID:
23027930
PMCID:
PMC3479531
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1204773109
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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