Neurocreationism--Making New Cortical Maps
Volume 294, Number 5544, Issue of 2 Nov 2001, pp. 1011-1012
Enhanced: Neurocreationism--Making New Cortical Maps
In developing mammals, how does the cerebral cortex become compartmentalized
into different regions responsible for functions as diverse as motor control
and sensory perception? Rakic explains in his Perspective that morphogenetic
molecules such as FGF8 (Fukuchi-Shimogori and Grove) form gradients that
specify the boundaries of different cortical regions, which are then further
modified by input from the thalamus and other cerebral structures.
The author is in the Department of Neurobiology, Yale University School of
Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. E-mail: pasko.rakic@...
Originally published in Science Express as 10.1126/science.1064252 on September
Science, Vol. 294, Issue 5544, 1071-1074, November 2, 2001
Neocortex Patterning by the Secreted Signaling Molecule FGF8
Tomomi Fukuchi-Shimogori, Elizabeth A. Grove*
A classic model proposes that the mammalian neocortex is divided into areas
early in neurogenesis, but the molecular mechanisms that generate the area map
have been elusive. Here we provide evidence that FGF8 regulates development of
the map from a source in the anterior telencephalon. Using
electroporation-mediated gene transfer in mouse embryos, we show that
augmenting the endogenous anterior FGF8 signal shifts area boundaries
posteriorly, reducing the signal shifts them anteriorly, and introducing a
posterior source of FGF8 elicits partial area duplications, revealed by ectopic
somatosensory barrel fields. These findings support a role for FGF signaling in
specifying positional identity in the neocortex.
Department of Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Chicago,
Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: