Misplaced Migration

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Science  30 Nov 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6111, pp. 1129
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6111.1129-c

Interneurons need to migrate from their birthplace to the cortical layers, where they will build their connections and support the effective function of cortical circuits. Disorders such as autism and schizophrenia that affect cortical circuits may also affect interneuron placement. A microdeletion at chromosome 22q11.2 has been correlated with risk of cortical circuit disorders. Meechan et al. used the Large Deletion 22q11.2DS (LgDel) mouse model to analyze what impact this microdeletion may have on cortical interneurons. In LgDel mice, a subset of the interneurons do not end up in the right place: During development, certain interneurons do not migrate as fast as normal and tend to lose their way. Analysis of transcription profiles identified a regulatory network affecting expression of the cytokine C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 gene as a key defect in the malfunctioning interneurons. Interneurons carrying reduced amounts of cytokine receptor on their surface could be less responsive to migration signals and could thus easily end up in the wrong place.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 109, 18601 (2012).

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