Deciphering the emergence of neuronal diversity
30 January 2017
Inhibitory interneurons labelled with a fluorescent molecule (in green) are distributed in the cerebral cortex. These cells were individually isolated and single cell transcriptomics revealed markers (in white) specifically expressed in distinct sub-groups of interneurons.
The development of cerebral cortex plays a major role in the evolution of species and in particular for mankind. This is why scientists are studying the emergence of its cellular microstructure with high resolution methods. Neuroscientists at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, have analysed the diversity of cortical neurons – more precisely inhibitory interneurons – during the developmental period surrounding birth. They have discovered the emergence of three main sub-groups of interneurons by decoding the expression of cell-type specific genes as well as their exact, and often unexpected, location in the cortex.
These results, which can be read in Nature Communications, will open the door to a more accurate understanding of the complex cell-type specific mechanisms underlying neuro-developmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. This should help researchers in discovering how psychiatric-related genetic disturbances impact the emergence of neuronal sub-types and how to design novel cell-type specific interventions. […]
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