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Several neuronal populations orchestrate neocortical development during mammalian embryogenesis. These include the glutamatergic subplate-, Cajal-Retzius-, and ventral pallium-derived populations, which coordinate cortical wiring, migration, and proliferation, respectively. These transient populations are primarily derived from other non-cortical pallial sources that migrate to the dorsal pallium. Are these migrations to the dorsal pallium conserved in amniotes or are they specific to mammals? Using in ovo electroporation, we traced the entire lineage of defined chick telencephalic progenitors. We found that several pallial sources that produce tangential migratory neurons in mammals only produced radially migrating neurons in the avian brain. Moreover, ectopic expression of VP-specific mammalian Dbx1 in avian brains altered neurogenesis but did not convert the migration into a mammal-like tangential movement. Together, these data indicate that tangential cellular contributions of glutamatergic neurons originate from outside the dorsal pallium and that pallial Dbx1 expression may underlie the generation of the mammalian neocortex during evolution.

Original publication




Journal article


Cell Rep

Publication Date





96 - 109


Dbx1, chick, evo-devo, evolution, neocortex, pallium, telencephalon, ventral pallium, Animals, Chick Embryo, Chickens, Homeodomain Proteins, Mice, Neocortex, Neurons