Song-Hai Shi's group published'How variable progenitor clones construct a largely invariant neocortex' in National Science Review



The neocortex contains a vast collection of diverse neurons organized into distinct layers. While nearly all neocortical neurons are generated by radial glial progenitors (RGPs), it remains largely unclear how a complex yet organized neocortex is constructed reliably and robustly. Here, we show that the division behavior and neuronal output of RGPs are highly constrained with patterned variabilities to support the reliable and robust construction of the mouse neocortex. The neurogenic process of RGPs can be well-approximated by a consistent Poisson-like process unfolding over time, producing deep to superficial layer neurons progressively. The exact neuronal outputs regarding layer occupation are variable; yet, this variability is constrained systematically to support all layer formation, largely reflecting the variable intermediate progenitor generation and RGP neurogenic entry and exit timing differences. Together, these results define the fundamental features of neocortical neurogenesis with a balanced reliability and variability for the construction of the complex neocortex.





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