Neurons born near the brain’s ventricles travel out to the olfactory bulb to function in olfaction. A steady stream of migrating neurons makes the journey not only in early development, but also during adulthood. Sawamoto et al. (Science p. 629, published online 12 January) now provide insight into how these neurons find their way in mice. The ventricles of the brain are lined with cells bearing cilia on their surface. The coordinated beating of these cilia develops a stream of fluid coursing through the ventricles carrying signaling factors that guide the traveling neurons. Mutations that disrupt the cilia also disrupt establishment of the signaling gradient and the migration of the neurons to the olfactory bulb.
February 28, 2006
Original web page at Science Magazine