Transient microglial absence assists postmigratory cortical neurons in proper differentiation

Yuki Hattori, Yu Naito, Yoji Tsugawa, Shigenori Nonaka, Hiroaki Wake, Takashi Nagasawa, Ayano Kawaguchi, Takaki Miyata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


In the developing cortex, postmigratory neurons accumulate in the cortical plate (CP) to properly differentiate consolidating subtype identities. Microglia, despite their extensive surveying activity, temporarily disappear from the midembryonic CP. However, the mechanism and significance of this absence are unknown. Here, we show that microglia bidirectionally migrate via attraction by CXCL12 released from the meninges and subventricular zone and thereby exit the midembryonic CP. Upon nonphysiological excessive exposure to microglia in vivo or in vitro, young postmigratory and in vitro-grown CP neurons showed abnormal differentiation with disturbed expression of the subtype-associated transcription factors and genes implicated in functional neuronal maturation. Notably, this effect is primarily attributed to interleukin 6 and type I interferon secreted by microglia. These results suggest that “sanctuarization” from microglia in the midembryonic CP is required for neurons to appropriately fine-tune the expression of molecules needed for proper differentiation, thus securing the establishment of functional cortical circuit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1631
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Transient microglial absence assists postmigratory cortical neurons in proper differentiation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this