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Keywords:

  • cortex;
  • development;
  • monoamine;
  • noradrenaline

Abstract

Monoamines such as serotonin and dopamine have been shown to regulate cortical interneuron migration but very little is known regarding noradrenaline. Similarly to other monoamines, noradrenaline is detected during embryonic cortical development and adrenergic receptors are expressed in transient embryonic zones of the pallium that contain migrating neurons. Evidence of a functional role for the adrenergic system in interneuron migration is lacking. In this study we first investigated the expression pattern of adrenergic receptors in mouse cortical interneuron subtypes preferentially derived from the caudal ganglionic eminences, and found that they expressed different subtypes of adrenergic receptors. To directly monitor the effects of adrenergic receptor stimulation on interneuron migration we used time-lapse recordings in cortical slices and observed that alpha2 adrenergic receptors (adra2) receptor activation inhibits the migration of cortical interneurons in a concentration-dependent and reversible manner. Furthermore, we observed that following adra2 activation the directionality of migrating interneurons was significantly modified, suggesting that adra2 stimulation could modulate their responsiveness to guidance cues. Finally the distribution of cortical interneurons was altered in vivo in adra2a/2c-knockout mice. These results support the general hypothesis that adrenergic dysregulation occurring during embryonic development alters cellular processes involved in the formation of cortical circuits.