Sequential transcriptional waves direct the differentiation of newborn neurons in the mouse neocortex

Ludovic Telley, Subashika Govindan, Julien Prados, Isabelle Stevant, Serge Nef, Emmanouil Dermitzakis, Alexandre Dayer, Denis Jabaudon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Scopus citations


During corticogenesis, excitatory neurons are born from progenitors located in the ventricular zone (VZ), from where they migrate to assemble into circuits. How neuronal identity is dynamically specified upon progenitor division is unknown. Here, we study this process using a high-temporal-resolution technology allowing fluorescent tagging of isochronic cohorts of newborn VZ cells. By combining this in vivo approach with single-cell transcriptomics in mice, we identify and functionally characterize neuronspecific primordial transcriptional programs as they dynamically unfold. Our results reveal early transcriptional waves that instruct the sequence and pace of neuronal differentiation events, guiding newborn neurons toward their final fate, and contribute to a road map for the reverse engineering of specific classes of cortical neurons from undifferentiated cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1443-1446
Number of pages4
Issue number6280
StatePublished - 25 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Annotated data are available at science2016. We thank R. Hevner for the gift of the TBR1 antibody; A. Benoit, M. Lanzillo, and the Genomics Platform and FACS Facility of the University of Geneva for technical assistance; and E. Azim, A. Carleton, S. Tole, and the members of the Jabaudon laboratory for comments on the manuscript. Work in the Jabaudon laboratory is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (PP00P3-123447), the Synapsis Foundation, and the Brain and Behavior Foundation (NARSAD Grant). S.N. is funded by the Swiss SystemsX Interdisciplinary PhD Grant 51PHI0-141994. S.G. and I.S. are supported by the iGe3 PhD Award. A.D. is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Synapsy. The authors declare no competing interests. The supplementary materials contain additional data.

FundersFunder number
Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression51PHI0-141994
nccr – on the move
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen ForschungPP00P3-123447
Université de Genève
Stiftung Synapsis - Alzheimer Forschung Schweiz AFS


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