GPR56, one of the adhesion G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), plays an important role in the development of the cerebral cortex. Mutations in GPR56 cause a severe human cortical malformation called bilateral frontoparietal polymicrogyria (BFPP), characterized by a global malformation of the cerebral cortex that most severely affects the frontal and parietal regions. To characterize the expression pattern of GPR56 in the developing cerebral cortex, we developed a mouse monoclonal antibody against mouse GPR56. We revealed that GPR56 is expressed in multiple cell types in the preplate, marginal zone, subventricular zone (SVZ), and ventricular zone (VZ). Most interestingly, the expression of GPR56 in preplate neurons showed an anterior-to-posterior gradient at embryonic day (E) 10.5-11.5. In contrast, the expression pattern of the GPR56 ligand, collagen III, revealed no visible gradient pattern. With the widespread expression of GPR56 in the developing cortex, it is difficult to draw a specific conclusion as to which of the GPR56-expressing cells are critical for human brain development. However, the correlation between GPR56 expression in neurons at E10.5-E11.5 and the anatomic distribution of the cortical malformation in both humans and mice suggests that its function in preplate neurons is indispensible.
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