A high level of foreign gene expression in organotypic cultures of the cerebral cortical anlage was achieved by electroporation-mediated gene transfer in vivo. A mammalian expression plasmid for green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene was injected into the lateral ventricle of rat embryos. Immediately after the plasmid DNA injection, the head of the embryo was electroporated between a pair of tweezer-type electrodes. The cortical anlage was isolated and maintained organotypically up to 21 days in vitro (DIV). The GFP-transgene was expressed intensely in neural progenitor cells at 1 DIV. GFP-expressing cells were still detectable and were demonstrated to differentiate into neurons and glia at 21 DIV. This system is expected to be useful for molecular analysis of cerebral cortical development and function.