Neocortical basal radial glia (bRG) and cerebellar Bergmann glia (BG) are basal progenitors derived from ventricular apical radial glia (aRG) that selectively lose their apical processes. bRG and BG have been implicated in the expansion and folding of the cerebrum and cerebellum, respectively. Here, we analyzed the molecular characteristics and development of bRG and BG. Transcriptomic comparison revealed striking similarity of the molecular features of bRG and BG. We found that heightened ERK signaling activity in aRG is tightly linked to the temporal formation and the relative abundance of bRG in human and mouse cortices. Forced activation of an FGF-ERK-ETV axis that is crucial to BG induction specifically induced bRG with canonical human bRG features in mice. Therefore, our data point to a common mechanism of bRG and BG generation, bearing implications to the role for these basal progenitors in the evolution of cortical folding of the cerebrum and cerebellum.
Keywords: ERK signaling; FGF signaling; cerebellum; developmental biology; human; mouse; neocortex; neurogenesis; neuroscience; radial glia; stem cells.