Some glial progenitors in the neonatal subventricular zone migrate through the corpus callosum to the contralateral cerebral hemisphere

Authors

  • Akiyoshi Kakita,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pathology and the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032
    2. Department of Pathology, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University, 1 Asahimachi, Niigata 951-8585, Japan
    3. The Brain Disease Research Center, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University, 1 Asahimachi, Niigata 951-8585, Japan
    • Department of Pathology, and the Brain Disease Research Center, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University, 1 Asahimachi, Niigata 951-8585, Japan
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  • Marielba Zerlin,

    1. Department of Pathology and the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032
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  • Hitoshi Takahashi,

    1. Department of Pathology, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University, 1 Asahimachi, Niigata 951-8585, Japan
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  • James E. Goldman

    1. Department of Pathology and the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032
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Abstract

The great majority of glial cells of the mammalian forebrain are generated in the perinatal period from progenitors in the subventricular zone (SVZ). We investigated the migration of progenitors from the neonatal (postnatal day 0, P0) rat forebrain SVZ by labeling them in vivo with a green fluorescence protein (GFP) retrovirus and monitoring their movements by time-lapse video microscopy in P3 slices. We identified a small number of progenitors that migrated tangentially within the corpus callosum (CC) and crossed the midline. These cells retained a relatively uniform morphology: the leading process was extended toward the contralateral side but showed no process branching or turning away from the migratory direction. Net migration requires the elongation of the leading process and nuclear translocation, and the migrating cells in the CC showed both modes. We confirmed the presence of unmyelinated axon bundles within the P3 CC, but failed to detect any radially directed glial processes (vimentin- or GLAST-immunolabeled fibers) spanning through the CC. Confocal images showed a close proximity between neurofilament-immunolabeled axons and the leading process of the GFP-expressing progenitors in the CC. The destination of the callosal fibers was examined by applying DiI to the right cingulum; the labeled fibers ran throughout the CC and reached the left cingulate and motor areas. The distribution and final fates of the retrovirus-labeled cells were examined in P28 brains. A small proportion of the labeled cells were found in the contralateral hemisphere, where, as oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, they colonized predominantly the cortex and the underlying white matter of the cingulate and secondary motor areas. The distribution pattern appears to coincide well with the projection direction of the callosal fibers. Thus, glial progenitors migrate across the CC, presumably in conjunction with unmyelinated axons, to colonize the contralateral hemisphere. J. Comp. Neurol. 458:381–388, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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