Molecular regulation of neuronal migration during neocortical development

Mol Cell Neurosci. 2009 Sep;42(1):11-22. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2009.06.003. Epub 2009 Jun 10.


Neocortex, a distinct six-layered neural structure, is one of the most exquisite nerve tissues in the human body. Proper assembly of neocortex requires precise regulation of neuronal migration and abnormalities can result in severe neurological diseases. Three major types of neuronal migration have been implicated in corticogenesis: radial migration of excitatory neuron precursors and tangential migration of interneurons as well as Cajal-Retzius cells. In the past several years, significant progress has been made in understanding how these parallel events are regulated and coordinated during corticogenesis. New insights have been gained into regulation of radial neuron migration by the well-known Reelin signal. New pathways have also been identified that regulate radial as well as tangential migration. Equally important, better understandings have been obtained on the cellular and molecular mechanics of cell migration by both projection neurons and interneurons. These findings have not only enhanced our understanding of normal neuron migration but also revealed insights into the etiologies of several neurological diseases where these processes go awry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Movement / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neocortex / cytology*
  • Neocortex / growth & development*
  • Neocortex / pathology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Nervous System Diseases / pathology
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins