Birthdating neurons

Moreover, restoration of positioning of the Pcdh20-knockdown neurons into L4 rescued the specification failure.We further suggest that the thalamocortical axons provide a positional cue to specify L4 identity.The ectopically positioned “future L4 neurons” lost their L4 characteristics but acquired L2/3 characteristics.Knockdown of a cytoskeletal protein in the future L4 neurons, which caused random disruption of positioning, also showed that those accidentally located in L4 acquired the L4 characteristics.Neurons that contain a protein called protocadherin20 normally end up in layer 4 of the neocortex. genetically engineered mouse embryos so that the production of protocadherin20 was reduced in these neurons whilst the neocortex formed.

Although this contention had attracted little attention until recently, it is also conceivable that cortical lamination or appropriate cell positioning in the CP is required for full differentiation of neurons.However, the mechanisms by which neurons obtain such subtype-specific characteristics during development still remain largely unclear.Given that each layer of the neocortex is occupied by neurons born at around the same time (Angevine and Sidman, 1961; Rakic, 1974), the hypothesis of temporal regulation of the progenitor cells, according to which the subtype of neurons is specified depending on their birth date, has been widely accepted (Dehay and Kennedy, 2007; Molyneaux et al., 2007).Examining the brains of the mice after they had been born showed that the tagged neurons ended up not in layer 4, but in layers 2 and 3 of the neocortex.What is more, these neurons now looked similar to other neurons in layer 2 and 3, as well as producing proteins and establishing connections consistent with their new location.

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