Regional Forebrain Patterning and Neural Subtype Specification: Implications for Cerebral Cortical Functional Connectivity and the Pathogenesis of Neurodegenerative Diseases

  • Mark E. Mehler
Part of the Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation book series (RESULTS, volume 39)


During the early embryonic period, dorsal telencephalic progenitor cells within the cortical ventricular zone (VZ) undergo radial migration and give rise to excitatory (glutamatergic) projection neurons that comprise the majority of cerebral cortical neurons and contribute to regional morphogenesis. By contrast, during perinatal life, current developmental models suggest that cortical oligodendrocytes (OLs) and astrocytes are generated from multipotent progenitors present within the cortical subventricular zone (SVZ). However, recent studies have shown that progenitor cells within the medial and lateral ganglionic eminences (MGE, LGE) of the ventral telencephalon can give rise to OLs and are also known to generate GABAergic neurons following tangential cortical migration. Although the majority of these ventral telencephalic progenitors disperse directly into the neocortex after migration, a subset of these LGE progenitors are destined for the cortical SVZ, where they give rise to both neuronal progenitors and to additional cells that become mitotically active within the cortical SVZ during the period of perinatal gliogenesis. Preliminary observations suggest that these cortical SVZ cells are derived from progenitors of the ganglionic eminences that are capable of generating both OLs and GABAergic neurons.


Neuronal Subtype Electrical Synapse Proneural Gene Progenitor Species Ventral Telencephalon 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark E. Mehler
    • 1
  1. 1.F.M. Kirby Program in Neural Protection and Repair, Departments of Neurology, Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Rose F. Kennedy Center for Research in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Einstein Comprehensive Cancer CenterAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA

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