Lodato S, Shetty AS, Arlotta P. 2015. Cerebral cortex assembly: generating and reprogramming projection neuron diversity. Trends in neurosciences. 38(2):117-25. Pubmed: 25529141 DOI:S0166-2236(14)00211-2


The mammalian cerebral cortex is responsible for the highest levels of associative, cognitive and motor functions. In the central nervous system (CNS) the cortex stands as a prime example of extreme neuronal diversity, broadly classified into excitatory projection neurons (PNs) and inhibitory interneurons (INs). We review here recent progress made in understanding the strategies and mechanisms that shape PN diversity during embryogenesis, and discuss how PN classes may be maintained, postnatally, for the life of the organism. In addition, we consider the intriguing possibility that PNs may be amenable to directed reprogramming of their class-specific features to allow enhanced cortical plasticity in the adult.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Dr. Arlotta is interested in understanding the molecular laws that govern the birth, differentiation and assembly of the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that controls how we sense, move and think. She integrates developmental and evolutionary knowledge to investigate therapies for brain repair and for modeling neuropsychiatric disease.

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