In the embryonic neocortex, neuronal precursors are generated in the ventricular zone (VZ) and accumulate in the cortical plate. Recently, the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the embryonic neocortex was recognized as an additional neurogenic site for both principal excitatory neurons and GABAergic inhibitory neurons. To gain insight into the neurogenesis of GABAergic neurons in the SVZ, we investigated the characteristics of intermediate progenitors of GABAergic neurons (IPGNs) in mouse neocortex by immunohistochemistry, immunocytochemistry, single-cell RT-PCR and single-cell array analysis. IPGNs were identified by their expression of some neuronal and cell cycle markers. Moreover, we investigated the origins of the neocortical IPGNs by Cre-loxP fate mapping in transgenic mice and the transduction of part of the telencephalic VZ by Cre-reporter plasmids, and found them in the medial and lateral ganglionic eminence. Therefore, they must migrate tangentially within the telencephalon to reach the neocortex. Cell-lineage analysis by simple-retrovirus transduction revealed that the neocortical IPGNs self-renew and give rise to a small number of neocortical GABAergic neurons and to a large number of granule and periglomerular cells in the olfactory bulb. IPGNs are maintained in the neocortex and may act as progenitors for adult neurogenesis.
- Accepted March 22, 2011.