Laminar segregation of the cortical plate during corticogenesis is accompanied by changes in glutamate receptor expression

Akiko Furuta, Lee J. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


We tested the hypothesis that subtypes of glutamate receptors (GluRs) are differentially expressed during corticogenesis. The neocortex of fetal sheep (term = ~145 days) was evaluated by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry to determine the protein expression of α-amino-3- hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) receptors (GluR1, GluR2/GluR3 [GluR2/3], and GluR4), kainate (KA) receptors (GluR6/GluR7 [GluR6/7]), and a metabotropic GluR (mGluR5). AMPA/KA receptors and mGluR5 were expressed in neocortex by midgestation. GluR1 and mGluR5 expression increased progressively, with expression being maximal just before birth and then decreasing postnatally. GluR2/3 and GluR6/7 levels increased progressively during corticogenesis to reach adult levels near term. GluR4 was expressed at low levels during corticogenesis and in adult neocortex. The localizations of GluRs in the developing neocortex were distinct. Each GIuR had a differential localization within the marginal zone, cortical plate, and subplate. GluR subtypes were expressed in laminar patterns before major cytoarchitectonic segregation occurred based on Nissl staining, although connectional patterns were emergent by midgestation based on labeling of corticostriatal projections with DiI. The GluR localizations changed during cortical plate segregation, resulting in highly differential distributions in the neocortex at term. AMPA/KA receptors were expressed transiently in proliferative zones and in developing white matter. Oligodendrocytes in fetal brain expressed AMPA receptors. The expression of ion channel and metabotropic GIuR subtypes is dynamic during corticogenesis, with subtype- and subunit-specific regulation occurring during the laminar segregation of the cortical plate and differentiation of the neocortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


  • AMPA receptor
  • Excitotoxicity
  • Metabotropic glutamate receptor
  • Neocortical development
  • Oligodendrocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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