A research team led by Professor Koji Oishi (part-time) and Professor Kazunori Nakajima of the Department of Anatomy, Keio University School of Medicine said that when the nerve cells in the cerebral cortex of the intrauterine fetal mouse were artificially placed in a different location. It was found that different types of nerve cells change depending on the environment.It is expected to lead to the development of cell therapy in the future.

 The cerebral cortex on the surface of the cerebrum is divided into 20 layers, and each layer of nerve cells has its own characteristics.Until now, it has been thought that this nerve cell is destined to become a type of nerve cell at the time of production.In this study, we focused on the membrane protein (Pcdh20) specifically expressed in neurons in the 2th layer of the cortex, and when the expression of Pcdh3 was inhibited in the developing mouse cerebrum, the inhibited neurons were 4-4. Arranged in layers.Next, when the expression of cytoskeletal proteins that control the migration of nerve cells is inhibited and the nerve cells that should be originally located in the 2th layer are artificially diffused into the cerebral cortex, the nerve cells become the 3th layer and Layers 20-4 show the characteristics according to the location.Furthermore, when nerve cells that inhibited both Pcdh4 and cytoskeletal proteins were artificially placed in the 20th layer, they differentiated into nerve cells with the characteristics of the XNUMXth layer.From the above, it was found that it is not PcdhXNUMX but the environment of the place where it is placed that is related to the final characterization of nerve cells.Furthermore, it was considered that the fibers that stretch the thalamus (thalamic cortex projection fiber), which is a part of the diencephalon, act as an environmental factor.

 As future tasks, it is important to elucidate the molecular mechanism directly involved in the interaction between thalamic cortical projection fibers and cortical layer 4 cells, and to elucidate the differences in cytoarchitecture in each area of ​​layer 4 neurons.Since nerve cells may differentiate appropriately according to the environment, the development of cell therapies for various diseases is expected.

Keio University

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