Application of in utero electroporation and live imaging in the analyses of neuronal migration during mouse brain development
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- Nishimura, Y.V., Shinoda, T., Inaguma, Y. et al. Med Mol Morphol (2012) 45: 1. doi:10.1007/s00795-011-0557-0
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Correct neuronal migration is crucial for brain architecture and function. During cerebral cortex development (corticogenesis), excitatory neurons generated in the proliferative zone of the dorsal telencephalon (mainly ventricular zone) move through the intermediate zone and migrate past the neurons previously located in the cortical plate and come to rest just beneath the marginal zone. The in utero electroporation technique is a powerful method for rapid gain- and loss-of-function studies of neuronal development, especially neuronal migration. This method enabled us to introduce genes of interest into ventricular zone progenitor cells of mouse embryos and to observe resulting phenotypes such as proliferation, migration, and cell morphology at later stages. In this Award Lecture Review, we focus on the application of the in utero electroporation method to functional analyses of cytoskeleton-related protein septin. We then refer to, as an advanced technique, the in utero electroporation-based real-time imaging method for analyses of cell signaling regulating neuronal migration. The in utero electroporation method and its application would contribute to medical molecular morphology through identification and characterization of the signaling pathways disorganized in various neurological and psychiatric disorders.