Gene expression analysis of the embryonic subplate

Cereb Cortex. 2012 Jun;22(6):1343-59. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhr197. Epub 2011 Aug 22.


The subplate layer of the cerebral cortex is comprised of a heterogeneous population of cells and contains some of the earliest-generated neurons. In the embryonic brain, subplate cells contribute to the guidance and areal targeting of thalamocortical axons. At later developmental stages, they are predominantly involved in the maturation and plasticity of the cortical circuitry and the establishment of functional modules. We aimed to further characterize the embryonic murine subplate population by establishing a gene expression profile at embryonic day (E) 15.5 using laser capture microdissection and microarrays. The microarray identified over 300 transcripts with higher expression in the subplate compared with the cortical plate at this stage. Using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, in situ hybridization (ISH), and immunohistochemistry (IHC), we have confirmed specific expression in the E15.5 subplate for 13 selected genes, which have not been previously associated with this compartment (Abca8a, Cdh10, Cdh18, Csmd3, Gabra5, Kcnt2, Ogfrl1, Pls3, Rcan2, Sv2b, Slc8a2, Unc5c, and Zdhhc2). In the reeler mutant, the expression of the majority of these genes (9 of 13) was shifted in accordance with the altered position of subplate. These genes belong to several functional groups and likely contribute to synapse formation and axonal growth and guidance in subplate cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cerebral Cortex / embryology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Gene Knock-In Techniques
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Neurologic Mutants