Pyramidal neurons of upper cortical layers generated by NEX-positive progenitor cells in the subventricular zone.
ABSTRACT: The generation of pyramidal neurons in the mammalian neocortex has been attributed to proliferating progenitor cells within the ventricular zone (VZ). Recently, the subventricular zone (SVZ) has been recognized as a possible source of migratory neurons in brain slice preparations, but the relevance of these observations for the developing neocortex in vivo remains to be defined. Here, we demonstrate that a subset of progenitor cells within the SVZ of the mouse neocortex can be molecularly defined by Cre recombinase expression under control of the NEX/Math2 locus, a neuronal basic helix-loop-helix gene that by itself is dispensable for cortical development. NEX-positive progenitors are generated by VZ cells, move into the SVZ, and undergo multiple asymmetrical and symmetrical cell divisions that produce a fraction of the neurons in the upper cortical layers. Our data suggest that NEX-positive progenitors within the SVZ are committed to a glutamatergic neuronal fate and have evolved to expand the number of cortical output neurons that is characteristic for the mammalian forebrain.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC1288007 | BioStudies | 2005-01-01T00:00:00Z