Disruption of Transient SERT Expression in Thalamic Glutamatergic Neurons Alters Trajectory of Postnatal Interneuron Development in the Mouse Cortex

Roberto De Gregorio, Xiaoning Chen, Emilie I. Petit, Kostantin Dobrenis, Ji Ying Sze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


In mice, terminal differentiation of subpopulations of interneurons occurs in late postnatal stages, paralleling the emergence of the adult cortical architecture. Here, we investigated the effects of altered initial cortical architecture on later interneuron development. We identified that a class of somatostatin (SOM)-expressing GABAergic interneurons undergoes terminal differentiation between 2nd and 3rd postnatal week in the mouse somatosensory barrel cortex and upregulates Reelin expression during neurite outgrowth. Our previous work demonstrated that transient expression (E15-P10) of serotonin uptake transporter (SERT) in thalamocortical projection neurons regulates barrel elaboration during cortical map establishment. We show here that in thalamic neuron SERT knockout mice, these SOM-expressing interneurons develop at the right time, reach correct positions and express correct neurochemical markers, but only 70% of the neurons remain in the adult barrel cortex. Moreover, those neurons that remain display altered dendritic patterning. Our data indicate that a precise architecture at the cortical destination is not essential for specifying late-developing interneuron identities, their cortical deposition, and spatial organization, but dictates their number and dendritic structure ultimately integrated into the cortex. Our study illuminates how disruption of temporal-specific SERT function and related key regulators during cortical map establishment can alter interneuron development trajectory that persists to adult central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1623-1636
Number of pages14
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 14 2020



  • cortical map architecture
  • dendrite patterning
  • postnatal interneuron development
  • temporal-specific SERT function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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