Multi-author Review


, Volume 46, Issue 9, pp 882-891

First online:

Principles of neural cell migration

  • P. RakicAffiliated withSection of Neuroanatomy, Yale University School of Medicine

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A basic property of immature neurons is their ability to change position from the place of their final mitotic division in proliferative centers of the developing brain to the specific positions they will occupy in a given structure of the adult nervous system. Proper acquisition of neuron position, attained through the process of active migration, ultimately affects a cell's morphology, synaptic connectivity and function. Although various classes of neurons may use different molecular cues to guide their migration to distant structures, a surface-mediated interaction between neighboring cells is considered essential for all types of migration. Disturbance of this cell-cell interaction may be important in several congenital and/or acquired brain abnormalities. The present article considers the basic mechanisms and principles of neuronal cell migration in the mammalian central nervous system.

Key words

Mammalian nervous system neuron migration neuron position molecular cues cell-cell interaction radial migration gliophilic cells neurophilic cells biphilic cells