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Brain Res. 1984 Aug;319(3):261-96.

Events governing organization of postmigratory neurons: studies on brain development in normal and reeler mice.


The purpose of the present work is to examine some of the mechanisms responsible for the early architectonic differentiation of the central nervous system, as well as for the abnormal development which occurs in certain hereditary malformations. In order to approach these questions, the embryonic development of the cerebral cortex, the cerebellum, the inferior olivary complex and the facial nerve nucleus has been studied in normal and reeler mutant mice, using morphological methods. The adult reeler phenotype is characterized not only by extreme laminar abnormalities of cell positioning in the telencephalic and cerebellar cortices, but also by relatively less extreme, though distinct abnormal architectonics in non-cortical structures such as the inferior olive and the facial nerve nucleus. Study of the embryonic development of these structures reveals that neurons are generated at the normal time and migrate along normal pathways. Moreover, the processes of directional axonal growth, differentiation of class specific features of neurons and glia, and synaptogenesis appear similar in both genotypes and are probably not directly affected by the reeler mutation. However, in all instances, the early architectonic organization achieved by reeler cortical, Purkinje, olivary or facial neurons at the end of their migration is consistently less regular than in normal embryos. In addition, these anomalies become amplified during the later developmental period. This evidence for the early appearance of abnormalities in reeler embryos indicates that the disposition of neurons at maturity cannot be exclusively regarded as secondary to the maturation of cells, neurites and connections, but is contingent upon a specific mechanism. One may infer that the presence of a normal allele at the reeler locus is necessary for the normal completion of this histogenetic step, which consequently is submitted to genetic control. Although the factor(s) responsible for the stable configuration of the early architectonics is unknown, various hypotheses are considered. Several lines of evidence are presented which argue against a major role being played by diffusible factors, mesodermal components and afferent fiber systems. Two mechanisms are considered particularly worth evaluating: (1) a diminution of relative adhesivity between neurons and radial glial fibers at the end of migration, and (2) a stabilization of neuronal configuration by selective recognition-adhesion among postmigratory neurons. The reeler gene could, directly or indirectly, affect these cell-cell interactions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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