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

Distinct ontogenic and regional expressions of newly identified Cajal-Retzius cell-specific genes during neocorticogenesis.

Cajal-Retzius (CR) cells are early-generated transient neurons and are important in the regulation of cortical neuronal migration and cortical laminar formation. Molecular entities characterizing the CR cell identity, however, remain largely elusive. We purified mouse cortical CR cells expressing GFP to homogeneity by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and examined a genome-wide expression profile of cortical CR cells at embryonic and postnatal periods. We identified 49 genes that exceeded hybridization signals by >10-fold in CR cells compared with non-CR cells at embryonic day 13.5, postnatal day 2, or both. Among these CR cell-specific genes, 25 genes, including the CR cell marker genes such as the reelin and calretinin genes, are selectively and highly expressed in both embryonic and postnatal CR cells. These genes, which encode generic properties of CR cell specificity, are eminently characterized as modulatory composites of voltage-dependent calcium channels and sets of functionally related cellular components involved in cell migration, adhesion, and neurite extension. Five genes are highly expressed in CR cells at the early embryonic period and are rapidly down-regulated thereafter. Furthermore, some of these genes have been shown to mark two distinctly different focal regions corresponding to the CR cell origins. At the late prenatal and postnatal periods, 19 genes are selectively up-regulated in CR cells. These genes include functional molecules implicated in synaptic transmission and modulation. CR cells thus strikingly change their cellular phenotypes during cortical development and play a pivotal role in both corticogenesis and cortical circuit maturation.[1]


  1. Distinct ontogenic and regional expressions of newly identified Cajal-Retzius cell-specific genes during neocorticogenesis. Yamazaki, H., Sekiguchi, M., Takamatsu, M., Tanabe, Y., Nakanishi, S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2004) [Pubmed]
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