Cortical developmental death: selected to survive or fated to die.

Causeret F, Coppola E, Pierani A.

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Curr. Opin. Neurobiol.

2018 Jul 19

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The mature cerebral cortex only contains a fraction of the cells that are generated during embryonic development. Indeed some neuronal populations are produced in excess and later subjected to partial elimination whereas others are almost completely removed during the first two postnatal weeks in mice. Although the identity of cells that disappear, the time course and mechanisms of their death are becoming reasonably well established, the meaning of producing supernumerary cells still remains elusive. In this review, we focus on recent data that shed a new light on the mechanisms involved in adjusting cell numbers and discuss the significance of refinement versus complete elimination of cell populations in the developing cortex.

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