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Paper Chase

Clonally related cortical cells show several migration patterns.

Science. Sep 09, 1988;241(4871):1342-5.
Walsh C, Cepko CL.

Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.


The mammalian cerebral cortex is organized into columns of cells with common functional properties. During embryogenesis, cortical neurons are formed deep, near the lateral ventricles, and migrate radially to their final position. This observation led to the suggestion that the cortex consists of radial, ontogenetic units of clonally related neurons. In the experiments reported here, this hypothesis was tested by studying cell lineage in the rat cortex with a retroviral vector carrying the Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase gene, which can be easily visualized. Labeled, clonally related cortical neurons did not occur in simple columnar arrays. Instead, clonally related neurons entered several different radial columns, apparently by migrating along different radial glial fibers.