Primary Cilia Influence Progenitor Function during Cortical Development

Cells. 2022 Sep 16;11(18):2895. doi: 10.3390/cells11182895.


Corticogenesis is an intricate process controlled temporally and spatially by many intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Alterations during this important process can lead to severe cortical malformations. Apical neuronal progenitors are essential cells able to self-amplify and also generate basal progenitors and/or neurons. Apical radial glia (aRG) are neuronal progenitors with a unique morphology. They have a long basal process acting as a support for neuronal migration to the cortical plate and a short apical process directed towards the ventricle from which protrudes a primary cilium. This antenna-like structure allows aRG to sense cues from the embryonic cerebrospinal fluid (eCSF) helping to maintain cell shape and to influence several key functions of aRG such as proliferation and differentiation. Centrosomes, major microtubule organising centres, are crucial for cilia formation. In this review, we focus on how primary cilia influence aRG function during cortical development and pathologies which may arise due to defects in this structure. Reporting and cataloguing a number of ciliary mutant models, we discuss the importance of primary cilia for aRG function and cortical development.

Keywords: cortical development; cortical malformations; neuronal progenitors; primary cilia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Cilia* / physiology
  • Neurogenesis* / physiology
  • Neurons

Grants and funding

Our projects and KC’s salary are supported by the French ANR under the frame of E-Rare-3, the ERA-Net for Research on Rare Diseases (ERARE18-049) and the French Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (équipe FRM : EQU202003010323). Our salaries (DZ and FF) and lab were supported by Inserm, Sorbonne University and the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). Our institute is supported by Inserm and Sorbonne University.