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J Neurosci. 2010 Apr 21;30(16):5590-602. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5837-09.2010.

Fgfr2 is required for the development of the medial prefrontal cortex and its connections with limbic circuits.

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Child Study Center, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


To understand the role of specific fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) in cortical development, we conditionally inactivated Fgfr2 or both Fgfr1 and Fgfr2 [Fgfr2 conditional knock-out (cKO) or double knock-out mice, respectively] in radial glial cells of the dorsal telencephalon. Fgfr1 and Fgfr2 are necessary for the attainment of a normal number of excitatory neurons in the cerebral cortex. The action of FGF receptors appears to be through increasing self-renewal of neuronal precursors within the ventricular zone. Volume measurements, assessments of excitatory neuron number, and areal marker expression suggested that the proper formation of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) depends on the function of Fgfr2, whereas Fgfr1 together with Fgfr2 control excitatory cortical neuron development within the entire cerebral cortex. Fgfr2 cKO mice had fewer and smaller glutamate synaptic terminals in the bed nuclei of the stria terminalis (BST), a projection area for mPFC cortical neurons. Furthermore, Fgfr2 cKO mice showed secondary decreases in GABAergic neurons in the BST and septum. These data demonstrate that FGFR2 signaling expands the number of excitatory neurons in the mPFC and secondarily influences target neurons in subcortical stations of the limbic system.

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