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The origin of cortical neurons

Keywords: Neurogenesis , Migration , Cortical development

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Neurons of the mammalian cerebral cortex comprise two broad classes: pyramidal neurons, which project to distant targets, and the inhibitory nonpyramidal cells, the cortical interneurons. Pyramidal neurons are generated in the germinal ventricular zone, which lines the lateral ventricles, and migrate along the processes of radial glial cells to their positions in the developing cortex in an `inside-out' sequence. The GABA-containing nonpyramidal cells originate for the most part in the ganglionic eminence, the primordium of the basal ganglia in the ventral telencephalon. These cells follow tangential migratory routes to enter the cortex and are in close association with the corticofugal axonal system. Once they enter the cortex, they move towards the ventricular zone, possibly to obtain positional information, before they migrate radially in the direction of the pial surface to take up their positions in the developing cortex. The mechanisms that guide interneurons throughout these long and complex migratory routes are currently under investigation.


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