This review accompanies a 2016 SFN mini-symposium presenting examples of current studies that address a central question: How do neural stem cells (NSCs) divide in different ways to produce heterogeneous daughter types at the right time and in proper numbers to build a cerebral cortex with the appropriate size and structure? We will focus on four aspects of corticogenesis: cytokinesis events that follow apical mitoses of NSCs; coordinating abscission with delamination from the apical membrane; timing of neurogenesis and its indirect regulation through emergence of intermediate progenitors; and capacity of single NSCs to generate the correct number and laminar fate of cortical neurons. Defects in these mechanisms can cause microcephaly and other brain malformations, and understanding them is critical to designing diagnostic tools and preventive and corrective therapies.
Dwyer, N. D., Chen, B., Chou, S.-J., Hippenmeyer, S., Nguyen, L., & Ghashghaei, H. T. (2016). Neural Stem Cells to Cerebral Cortex: Emerging Mechanisms Regulating Progenitor Behavior and Productivity. The Journal of Neuroscience, 36(45), 11394–11401. https://doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.2359-16.2016