Modes of neuronal migration in the developing cerebral cortex

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2002 Jun;3(6):423-32. doi: 10.1038/nrn845.


The conventional scheme of cortical formation shows that postmitotic neurons migrate away from the germinal ventricular zone to their positions in the developing cortex, guided by the processes of radial glial cells. However, recent studies indicate that different neuronal types adopt distinct modes of migration in the developing cortex. Here, we review evidence for two modes of radial movement: somal translocation, which is adopted by the early-generated neurons; and glia-guided locomotion, which is used predominantly by pyramidal cells. Cortical interneurons, which originate in the ventral telencephalon, use a third mode of migration. They migrate tangentially into the cortex, then seek the ventricular zone before moving radially to take up their positions in the cortical anlage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / embryology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interneurons / cytology
  • Interneurons / physiology
  • Lateral Ventricles / cytology
  • Lateral Ventricles / embryology
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neuroglia / physiology
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Pyramidal Cells / cytology
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / physiology