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Neocortex expansion is largely based on the proliferative capacity of basal progenitors BPs , which is increased by extracellular matrix ECM components via integrin signaling.
Here we show that the transcription factor Sox9 drives expression of ECM components and that laminin increases BP proliferation in embryonic mouse neocortex.
We show that Sox9 is expressed in human and ferret BPs and is required for BP proliferation in embryonic ferret neocortex. Conditional Sox9 expression in the mouse BP lineage, where it normally is not expressed, increases BP proliferation, reduces Tbr2 levels and induces Olig2 expression, indicative of premature gliogenesis. Conditional Sox9 expression also results in cell-non-autonomous stimulation of BP proliferation followed by increased upper-layer neuron production.
Our findings demonstrate that Sox9 exerts concerted effects on transcription, BP proliferation, neuron production, and neurogenic vs. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animal experiments in this study were conducted according to the German animal welfare legislation. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.