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Front Cell Neurosci. 2015 Jan 28;8:473. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2014.00473. eCollection 2014.

Interkinetic nuclear migration generates and opposes ventricular-zone crowding: insight into tissue mechanics.

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Anatomy and Cell Biology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine Nagoya, Aichi, Japan.


The neuroepithelium (NE) or ventricular zone (VZ), from which multiple types of brain cells arise, is pseudostratified. In the NE/VZ, neural progenitor cells are elongated along the apicobasal axis, and their nuclei assume different apicobasal positions. These nuclei move in a cell cycle-dependent manner, i.e., apicalward during G2 phase and basalward during G1 phase, a process called interkinetic nuclear migration (INM). This review will summarize and discuss several topics: the nature of the INM exhibited by neural progenitor cells, the mechanical difficulties associated with INM in the developing cerebral cortex, the community-level mechanisms underlying collective and efficient INM, the impact on overall brain formation when NE/VZ is overcrowded due to loss of INM, and whether and how neural progenitor INM varies among mammalian species. These discussions will be based on recent findings obtained in live, three-dimensional specimens using quantitative and mechanical approaches. Experiments in which overcrowding was induced in mouse neocortical NE/VZ, as well as comparisons of neocortical INM between mice and ferrets, have revealed that the behavior of NE/VZ cells can be affected by cellular densification. A consideration of the physical aspects in the NE/VZ and the mechanical difficulties associated with high-degree pseudostratification (PS) is important for achieving a better understanding of neocortical development and evolution.


cell division; cortical development; crowding; interkinetic nuclear migration; mechanical processes; neural progenitor cells; slice culture; time-lapse imaging

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