The molecular mechanisms that orchestrate the development of the human dentate gyrus are not known. In this study, we characterized the formation of human dentate and fimbrial progenitors and postmitotic neurons from 9 gestational weeks (GW9) to GW25. PAX6+ progenitor cells remained proliferative until GW16 in the dentate ventricular zone. By GW11, the secondary dentate matrix had developed in the intermediate zone, surrounding the dentate anlage and streaming toward the subpial layer. This secondary matrix contained proliferating PAX6+ and/or TBR2+ progenitors. In parallel, SOX2+ and PAX6+ fimbrial cells were detected approaching the dentate anlage, representing a possible source of extra-dentate progenitors. By GW16, when the granule cell layer could be delineated, a hilar matrix containing PAX6+ and some TBR2+ progenitors had become identifiable. By GW25, when the 2 limbs of the granule cell layer had formed, the secondary dentate matrix was reduced to a pool of progenitors at the fimbrio-dentate junction. Although human dentate development recapitulates key steps previously described in rodents, differences seemed to emerge in neuron layer markers expression. Further studies are necessary to better elucidate their role in dentate formation and connectivity.
Keywords: dentate matrix; fimbria; granule cell neurogenesis; neuron layer markers; progenitors.
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