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The germinative zone produces the most cortical astrocytes after neuronal migration in the developing mammalian brain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

P Gressens, C Richelme, H J Kadhim, J F Gadisseux, P Evrard, Pierre Gressens

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-24
Number of pages21
JournalBiology of the Neonate
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1992

King's Authors


The origin of astrocytes of the mouse neocortex during the fetal and early postnatal periods as determined by immunocytological, autoradiographic, electron microscopic and antimitotic methods is described. Most astrocytes destined for the white matter and the infragranular cortical layers are derived from the transformation of radial glial cells between P0 and P10 with an inside-out pattern. This cell metamorphosis is not directly preceded by mitosis and involves the activation of the radial glial lysosomal apparatus. In opposition to recent hypotheses, our findings suggest that most astrocytes destined for the supragranular cortical layers are produced in the germinative zone after the migration of the infragranular neurons and themselves migrate afterwards to the upper cortex between E16 and the first postnatal days. These astrocytes do not display an intermediate stage of the radial glial cell and do not participate in the pattern of appearance of the deeper astrocytes. This second step of astrocytogenesis is a condition for normal cytoarchitectonic development and the maintenance of the supragranular layers, since the deprivation of the astrocytic equipment of the supragranular layers by an antimitotic drug drastically reduces the number of supragranular neurons.

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