Postnatal shifts of interneuron position in the neocortex of normal and reeler mice: evidence for inward radial migration

Neuroscience. 2004;124(3):605-18. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2003.11.033.


During development, interneurons migrate to precise positions in the cortex by tangential and radial migration. The objectives of this study were to characterize the net radial migrations of interneurons during the first postnatal week, and to investigate the role of reelin signaling in regulating those migrations. To observe radial migrations, we compared the laminar positions of interneurons (immunoreactive for GABA or Dlx) in mouse neocortex on postnatal days (P) 0.5 and P7.5. In addition, we used bromodeoxyuridine birthdating to reveal the migrations of different interneuron cohorts. To study the effects of reelin deficiency, experiments were performed in reeler mutant mice. In normal P0.5 cortex, interneurons were most abundant in the marginal zone and layer 5. By P7.5, interneurons were least abundant in the marginal zone, and were distributed more evenly in the cortical plate. This change was attributed mainly to inward migration of middle- to late-born interneurons (produced on embryonic days (E) 13.5 to E16.5) from the marginal zone to layers 2-5. During the same interval, late-born projection neurons (non-immunoreactive for GABA or Dlx) migrated mainly outward, from the intermediate zone to upper cortical layers. In reeler cortex, middle- and late-born interneurons migrated from the superplate on P0.5, to the deep cortical plate on P7.5. Late-born projection neurons in reeler migrated in the opposite direction, from the intermediate zone to the deep cortical plate. We conclude that many middle- and late-born interneurons migrate radially inward, from the marginal zone (or superplate) to the cortical plate, during the first postnatal week in normal and reeler mice. We propose that within the cortical plate, interneuron laminar positions may be determined in part by interactions with projection neurons born on the same day in neurogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Body Patterning / genetics
  • Bromodeoxyuridine
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / deficiency
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Division / genetics
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Movement / genetics*
  • Cerebral Cortex / abnormalities*
  • Cerebral Cortex / growth & development*
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / deficiency
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / genetics
  • Fetus
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interneurons / metabolism*
  • Interneurons / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Neurologic Mutants / embryology*
  • Mice, Neurologic Mutants / genetics
  • Mice, Neurologic Mutants / growth & development*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nervous System Malformations / genetics
  • Nervous System Malformations / pathology
  • Nervous System Malformations / physiopathology
  • Neural Inhibition / genetics
  • Neural Pathways / abnormalities
  • Neural Pathways / growth & development
  • Neural Pathways / pathology
  • Reelin Protein
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal
  • Distal-less homeobox proteins
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Reelin Protein
  • Transcription Factors
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Reln protein, mouse
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Bromodeoxyuridine