Erratic and blood vessel-guided migration of astrocyte progenitors in the cerebral cortex

Hidenori Tabata, Megumi Sasaki, Masakazu Agetsuma, Hitomi Sano, Yuki Hirota, Michio Miyajima, Kanehiro Hayashi, Takao Honda, Masashi Nishikawa, Yutaka Inaguma, Hidenori Ito, Hirohide Takebayashi, Masatsugu Ema, Kazuhiro Ikenaka, Junichi Nabekura, Koh ichi Nagata, Kazunori Nakajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Astrocytes are one of the most abundant cell types in the mammalian brain. They play essential roles in synapse formation, maturation, and elimination. However, how astrocytes migrate into the gray matter to accomplish these processes is poorly understood. Here, we show that, by combinational analyses of in vitro and in vivo time-lapse observations and lineage traces, astrocyte progenitors move rapidly and irregularly within the developing cortex, which we call erratic migration. Astrocyte progenitors also adopt blood vessel-guided migration. These highly motile progenitors are generated in the restricted prenatal stages and differentiate into protoplasmic astrocytes in the gray matter, whereas postnatally generated progenitors do not move extensively and differentiate into fibrous astrocytes in the white matter. We found Cxcr4/7, and integrin β1 regulate the blood vessel-guided migration, and their functional blocking disrupts their positioning. This study provides insight into astrocyte development and may contribute to understanding the pathogenesis caused by their defects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6571
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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