Laminar and areal expression of Unc5d and its role in cortical cell survival

Makoto Takemoto, Yuki Hattori, Hong Zhao, Haruka Sato, Atsushi Tamada, Shinji Sasaki, Kazunori Nakajima, Nobuhiko Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The UNC-5 family of netrin receptors is known to regulate axon guidance, cell migration, and cell survival. We have previously demonstrated that unc5d, one of the UNC-5 family member genes, is specifically expressed in layer 4 of the developing rat neocortex (Zhong Y, Takemoto M, Fukuda T, Hattori Y, Murakami F, Nakajima D, Nakayama M, Yamamoto N. 2004. Identification of the genes that are expressed in the upper layers of the neocortex. Cereb Cortex. 14:1144-1152). However, the role of UNC5D in cortical development is still unknown. In this study, we revealed that unc5d was highly expressed in the primary sensory areas of the mouse neocortex at around postnatal day 7. Netrin-4 was also found to be predominantly expressed in layer 4 of the sensory cortex and sensory thalamic nuclei. Cell surface binding assay showed that netrin-4 protein bound to UNC5D-expressing cells. An in vitro study further demonstrated that cell death of unc5d-expressing layer 4 cells was reduced by exogenous application of netrin-4 protein, whereas UNC5D is not sufficient to mediate the effect of netrin-4 in deep layer cells. Taken together, these results suggest that UNC5D is primarily expressed by layer 4 cells in the primary sensory areas of the developing neocortex and may mediate the effect of netrin-4 on cortical cell survival in a lamina-specific manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1925-1934
Number of pages10
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug


  • cortical development
  • layer
  • netrin-4
  • thalamus
  • unc5h4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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