Inhibition of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor activity resulted in aberrant neuronal migration caused by delayed morphological development in the mouse neocortex

S. Uchino, T. Hirasawa, H. Tabata, Y. Gonda, C. Waga, Y. Ondo, K. Nakajima, S. Kohsaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Embryonic and neonatal neocortical neurons already express functional N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors before they form synapses. To elucidate the role of NMDA receptors in neuronal migration in the developing neocortex, we visualized radially migrating neurons by transferring the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) gene into the ventricular zone (VZ) of the mouse neocortex using in utero electroporation at E15.5. Two days later, we prepared neocortical slices and examined the EGFP-positive cells using time-lapse imaging in the presence of the NMDA receptor antagonist Cerestat. The EGFP-positive cells generated in the VZ in the control slices exhibited a multipolar morphology, but within several hours they became bipolar (with a leading process and an axon-like process) and migrated toward the pial surface. By contrast, many of the multipolar cells in the Cerestat-treated slices failed to extend either process and become bipolar, and frequently changed direction, although they ultimately reached their destination even after Cerestat-treatment. To identify the molecules responding for mediating NMDA signaling during neuronal migration and the changes in morphology observed above, we here focused on Src family kinases (SFKs), which mediate a variety of neuronal functions including migration and neurite extension. We discovered that the activity of Src and Fyn was reduced by Cerestat. These findings suggest that NMDA receptors are involved in neuronal migration and morphological changes into a bipolar shape, and in the activation of Src and Fyn in the developing neocortex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-618
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Aug 1



  • Corticogenesis
  • Development
  • In utero electroporation
  • NMDA receptor antagonist
  • Src family kinases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this