Interkinetic and migratory behavior of a cohort of neocortical neurons arising in the early embryonic murine cerebral wall

Takao Takahashi, Richard S. Nowakowski, Verne S. Caviness

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Neocortical neuronogenesis occurs in the pseudostratified ventricular epithelium (PVE) where nuclei of proliferative cells undergo interkinetic nuclear movement. A fraction of daughter cells exits the cell cycle as neurons (the quiescent, or Q, fraction), whereas a complementary fraction remains in the cell cycle (the proliferative, or P, fraction). By means of sequential thymidine and bromodeoxyuridine injections in mouse on embryonic day 14, we have monitored the proliferative and postmitotic migratory behaviors of 1 and 2 hr cohorts of PVE cells defined by the injection protocols. Soon after mitosis, the Q fraction partitions into a rapidly exiting (up to 50 μm/hr) subpopulation (Q(r)) and a more slowly exiting (6 μm/hr) subpopulation (Q(s)). Q(r) and Q(s) are separated as two distributions on exit from the ventricular zone with an interpeak distance of ~ 40 μm. Cells in Q(r) and Q(s) migrate through the intermediate zone with no significant change in the interpeak distance, suggesting that they migrate at approximately the same velocities. The rate of migration increases with ascent through the intermediate zone (average 2-6.4 μm/hr) slowing only transiently on entry into the developing cortex. Within the cortex, Q(r) and Q(s) merge to form a single distribution most concentrated over layer V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5762-5776
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Sep 15
Externally publishedYes



  • cell cycle
  • mouse
  • neocortical neuronogenesis
  • neuronal migration
  • proliferation
  • ventricular zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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