2016 Volume 92 Issue 1 Pages 1-19
Neuronal migration is crucial for the construction of the nervous system. To reach their correct destination, migrating neurons choose pathways using physical substrates and chemical cues of either diffusible or non-diffusible nature. Migrating neurons extend a leading and a trailing process. The leading process, which extends in the direction of migration, determines navigation, in particular when a neuron changes its direction of migration. While most neurons simply migrate radially, certain neurons switch their mode of migration between radial and tangential, with the latter allowing migration to destinations far from the neurons’ site of generation. Consequently, neurons with distinct origins are intermingled, which results in intricate neuronal architectures and connectivities and provides an important basis for higher brain function. The trailing process, in contrast, contributes to the late stage of development by turning into the axon, thus contributing to the formation of neuronal circuits.