Functional NMDA and GABAA receptors in pioneer neurons of the cortical marginal zone

Eur J Neurosci. 1999 Sep;11(9):3351-4. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9568.1999.00780.x.


Transient pioneer neurons in the neocortical marginal zone generate an early corticofugal axonal projection at E12-E16 (Meyer et al. 1998). We have analysed the functional activity of glutamate and GABA receptors in such cells by measuring changes in intracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca2+]i). The activation of GABAA receptors with muscimol, as well as bath application of glutamate, lead to increases in [Ca2+]i in pioneer neurons. The stimulatory action of glutamate is mostly produced through the NMDA-type of ionotropic receptors. Metabotropic glutamate receptor activation has no effect on [Ca2+]i. Consistent with such results, immunocytochemical studies showed a prominent expression of GABAA and NMDA receptors in pioneer neurons. The activation of such receptors may be implicated in the remodelling of pioneer neurons during development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calbindins
  • Calcium / chemistry
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium Signaling / drug effects
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects
  • Cerebral Cortex / growth & development
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Fura-2
  • GABA-A Receptor Agonists
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, GABA-A / drug effects*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / agonists
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / drug effects*
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / metabolism


  • Calbindins
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • GABA-A Receptor Agonists
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
  • Calcium
  • Fura-2