Brain Development

The value of scaffolds

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Science  19 Jan 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6373, pp. 286-287
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6373.286-f

Neurons migrate to form surface layers of the chick brain.

PHOTO: F. GARCIA-MORENO ET AL. CELL REP. 22, 96 (2018)

The brain is built by groups of neurons that migrate and interdigitate to form layers and circuits. This process varies in different phyla of animals. García-Moreno et al. draw lessons from the development of the chick brain to understand what makes the mammalian brain distinctive. In mammals, excitatory glutamatergic neurons born deep in the brain migrate radially to the cortex, whereas inhibitory GABAergic interneurons born elsewhere migrate tangentially across the cortex. And, like the external scaffolds on a building under construction, some glutamatergic neurons migrate tangentially, instruct organization, then disappear. The developing chick brain, although it has tangentially migrating interneurons, lacks the tangentially migrating transient neurons.

Cell Rep. 22, 96 (2018).

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