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Neuroscience Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 859257, 15 pages
Research Article

Roles of Integrins and Intracellular Molecules in the Migration and Neuritogenesis of Fetal Cortical Neurons: MEK Regulates Only the Neuritogenesis

Departments of Surgery and Physiology and Biophysics, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Room L020, Clinical Service Building, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216, USA

Received 24 August 2012; Accepted 16 December 2012

Academic Editor: Carles Vilarino-Guell

Copyright © 2013 Ujjwal K. Rout. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The roles of integrin subunits and intracellular molecules in regulating the migration and neuritogenesis of neurons isolated from 16.5 gestation days rat fetal cortices were examined using in vitro assays. Results showed that laminin supported the migration of fetal cortical neurons better than fibronectin and that the fetal cortical neurons migrated on laminin using β1 and α3 integrin subunits which make up the α3β1 integrin receptor. On fibronectin, the migration was mediated by β1 integrin subunit. Perturbation of src kinase, phospholipase C, or protein kinase C activity, inhibition of IP3 receptor mediated calcium release, or chelation of intracellular calcium inhibited both migration and neuritogenesis, whereas inhibition of growth factor signaling via MEK inhibited only the neuritogenesis. The detection of α1 and α9 transcripts suggested that the migration of fetal cortical neurons may also be mediated by α1β1 and α9β1 integrin receptors. Results showed that calcium may regulate migration and neuritogenesis by maintaining optimum levels of microtubules in the fetal cortical neurons. It is concluded that the fetal cortical neurons are fully equipped with the integrin signaling cascade required for their migration and neuritogenesis, whereas crosstalk between the integrin and growth-factor signaling regulate only the neuritogenesis.