May 5th issue of Neuron (Vol. 46, Issue 3, May 2005) has devoted to Cortical Development a series of mini-reviews describing recent progress in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the development of the cerebral cortex.

In recent years, there has been an explosion of research on this topic, and these reviews-including neurogenesis, fate determination, migration and differentiation, and wiring- are intended to provide an overview of this rapidly developing field.

BM&Lís members have just discussed two of the newer techniques: enhancer trapping and retrovirus tagging. Particularly, retrovirus tagging gave us an important confirmation: neural cells which originate together in the proliferative zone tend to stick together throughout life. It is interesting that in the retina it can be shown that clones deriving from a single marked cell differentiate into both rod and bipolar cells.

BM&L has studied how cortical interneurons find their position. Two years ago, reviewing four important researches in the field, Linda Faye Lehman and Giuseppe Perrella concluded that the fate of cortical interneurons is partially specified before they reach the cortex, although a subset of cells might also pick up environmental information within the cortical layers (Linda Faye Lehman & Giuseppe Perrella, How cortical interneurons find their address. BM&L-INTERNATIONAL, Views and News, 09/11, 2003).


BM&L-May 2005