The cerebral cortex contains multiple areas with distinctive cytoarchitectonical patterns, but the cellular mechanisms underlying the emergence of this diversity remain unclear. Here, we have investigated the neuronal output of individual progenitor cells in the developing mouse neocortex using a combination of methods that together circumvent the biases and limitations of individual approaches. Our experimental results indicate that progenitor cells generate pyramidal cell lineages with a wide range of sizes and laminar configurations. Mathematical modelling indicates that these outcomes are compatible with a stochastic model of cortical neurogenesis in which progenitor cells undergo a series of probabilistic decisions that lead to the specification of very heterogeneous progenies. Our findings support a mechanism for cortical neurogenesis whose flexibility would make it capable to generate the diverse cytoarchitectures that characterize distinct neocortical areas.
- Oscar Marin
- Simon Hippenmeyer
- Fong Kuan Wong
- Fong Kuan Wong
- Robert Beattie
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All procedures were approved by King's College London and IST Austria, and were performed under UK Home Office project licenses, and in accordance with Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research license, and European regulations (EU directive 86/609, EU decree 2001- 486).
- Sonia Garel, Ecole Normale Superieure, France
- Received: August 27, 2019
- Accepted: November 15, 2019
- Accepted Manuscript published: November 18, 2019 (version 1)
© 2019, Llorca et al.
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