Genetic mechanisms specifying cortical connectivity: let's make some projections together

Neuron. 2005 May 5;46(3):395-400. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2005.04.017.


Great neuroanatomists of the twentieth century recognized that the cerebral cortex of mammals is the single most complex structure of the central nervous system both in terms of neuronal diversity and connectivity. Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms specifying the afferent and efferent connectivity in the neocortex may seem like a daunting task. However, recent technical advances have greatly improved our ability to (1) profile gene expression of neuronal populations isolated based on their connectional properties, (2) manipulate gene expression in specific neuronal populations, and (3) visualize their axonal projections in vivo. These new tools are revolutionizing our ability to identify the molecular mechanisms patterning afferent and efferent cortical projections.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / embryology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*