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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Developmental distribution of reelin-positive cells and their secreted product in the rodent spinal cord.

To date, only sympathetic and parasympathetic preganglionic neurons are known to migrate abnormally in reeler mutant spinal cord. Reelin, the large extracellular matrix protein absent in reeler, is found in wild-type neurons bordering both groups of preganglionic neurons. To understand better Reelin's function in the spinal cord, we studied its developmental expression in both mice and rats. A remarkable conservation was found in the spatiotemporal pattern of Reelin in both species. Numerous Reelin-expressing cells were found in the intermediate zone, except for regions containing somatic and autonomic motor neurons. A band of Reelin-positive cells filled the superficial dorsal horn, whereas only a few immunoreactive cells populated the deep dorsal horn and dorsal commissure. High levels of diffuse Reelin product were detected in the lateral marginal and ventral ventricular zones in both rodent species. This expression pattern was detected at all segmental spinal cord levels during embryonic development and remained detectable at lower levels throughout the first postnatal month. To discriminate between the cellular and secreted forms of Reelin, brefeldin A was used to block secretion in organotypic cultures. Such perturbations revealed that the high levels of secreted Reelin in the lateral marginal zone were derived from varicose axons of more medially located Reelin-positive cells. Thus, the laterally located secreted Reelin product may normally prevent the preganglionic neurons from migrating too far medially. Based on the strong evolutionary conservation of Reelin expression and its postnatal detection, Reelin may have other important functions in addition to its role in neuronal migration.[1]


  1. Developmental distribution of reelin-positive cells and their secreted product in the rodent spinal cord. Kubasak, M.D., Brooks, R., Chen, S., Villeda, S.A., Phelps, P.E. J. Comp. Neurol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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