Modes and mishaps of neuronal migration in the mammalian brain

J Neurosci. 2008 Nov 12;28(46):11746-52. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3860-08.2008.


The ability of neurons to migrate to their appropriate positions in the developing brain is critical to brain architecture and function. Recent research has elucidated different modes of neuronal migration and the involvement of a host of signaling factors in orchestrating the migration, as well as vulnerabilities of this process to environmental and genetic factors. Here we discuss the role of cytoskeleton, motor proteins, and mechanisms of nuclear translocation in radial and tangential migration of neurons. We will also discuss how these and other events essential for normal migration of neurons can be disrupted by genetic and environmental factors that contribute to neurological disease in humans.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / embryology*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mammals / embryology
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / metabolism
  • Nervous System Malformations / genetics
  • Nervous System Malformations / metabolism
  • Nervous System Malformations / physiopathology
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*


  • Molecular Motor Proteins