IgSF molecule MDGA1 is involved in radial migration and positioning of a subset of cortical upper-layer neurons



Mdga1, encoding a GPI-anchored immunoglobulin superfamily molecule containing an MAM domain, is expressed by a specific subset of neurons, including layer II/III projection neurons, in the mouse neocortex. To investigate the function of Mdga1 in corticogenesis, we generated Mdga1-deficient mice and backcrossed them to obtain a congenic background. Gross anatomy of the Mdga1-deficient brain at postnatal day (P) 14 showed no obvious phenotype. However, the migration of Mdga1-mutant neurons to the superficial cortical plate was clearly delayed. Most Mdga1-mutant neurons reached the lower portion of the upper cortical layer by embryonic day 18.5 and stayed there through P0. By P7, the location of the mutant cells was the same as wild-type. The location of Cux2-expressing upper-layer neurons in the cortical plate was largely unaffected. These observations indicated that Mdga1 is involved in the migration and positioning of a subset of cortical neurons and suggested that the radial migration of upper-layer neurons might be differentially regulated. Developmental Dynamics, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.