Selective role of N-type calcium channels in neuronal migration

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Science  07 Aug 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5071, pp. 806-809
DOI: 10.1126/science.1323145


Analysis of neuronal migration in mouse cerebellar slice preparations by a laser scanning confocal microscope revealed that postmitotic granule cells initiate their migration only after the expression of N-type calcium channels on their plasmalemmal surface. Furthermore, selective blockade of these channels by addition of omega-conotoxin to the incubation medium curtailed cell movement. In contrast, inhibitors of L- and T-type calcium channels, as well as those of sodium and potassium channels, had no effect on the rate of granule cell migration. These results suggest that N-type calcium channels, which have been predominantly associated with neurotransmitter release in adult brain, also play a transient but specific developmental role in directed migration of immature neurons before the establishment of their synaptic circuits.

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