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Subplate in the developing cortex of mouse and human

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nadhim Bayatti, Bui Ip, Emerita Professor Susan Lindsay, Dr Gavin ClowryORCiD


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The subplate is a largely transient zone containing precocious neurons involved in several key steps of cortical development. The majority of subplate neurons form a compact layer in mouse, but are dispersed throughout a much larger zone in the human. In rodent, subplate neurons are among the earliest born neocortical cells, whereas in primate, neurons are added to the subplate throughout cortical neurogenesis. Magnetic resonance imaging and histochemical studies show that the human subplate grows in size until the end of the second trimester. Previous microarray experiments in mice have shown several genes that are specifically expressed in the subplate layer of the rodent dorsal cortex. Here we examined the human subplate for some of these markers. In the human dorsal cortex, connective tissue growth factor-positive neurons can be seen in the ventricular zone at 15-22 postconceptional weeks (PCW) (most at 17 PCW) and are present in the subplate at 22 PCW. The nuclear receptor-related 1 protein is mostly expressed in the subplate in the dorsal cortex, but also in lower layer 6 in the lateral and perirhinal cortex, and can be detected from 12 PCW. Our results suggest that connective tissue growth factor- and nuclear receptor-related 1-positive cells are two distinct cell populations of the human subplate. Furthermore, our microarray analysis in rodent suggested that subplate neurons produce plasma proteins. Here we demonstrate that the human subplate also expresses alpha 2zinc-binding globulin and Alpha-2-Heremans-Schmid glycoprotein/human fetuin. In addition, the established subplate neuron marker neuropeptide Y is expressed superficially, whereas potassium/chloride co-transporter (KCC2)-positive neurons are localized in the deep subplate at 16 PCW. These observations imply that the human subplate shares gene expression patterns with rodent, but is more compartmentalized into superficial and deep sublayers. This increased complexity of the human subplate may contribute to differential vulnerability in response to hypoxia/ischaemia across the depth of the cortex. Combining knowledge of cell-type specific subplate gene expression with modern imaging methods will enable a better understanding of neuropathologies involving the subplate.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wang WZ, Hoerder-Suabedissen A, Oeschger FM, Bayatti N, Ip BK, Lindsay S, Supramaniam V, Srinivasan L, Rutherford M, Mollgard K, Clowry GJ, Molnar Z

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Anatomy

Year: 2010

Volume: 217

Issue: 4

Pages: 368-380

Print publication date: 01/10/2010

ISSN (print): 0021-8782

ISSN (electronic): 1469-7580

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2010.01274.x


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