Reelin and disabled-1 expression in developing and mature human cortical neurons

Kimiko Deguchi, Ken Inoue, William E. Avila, Dolores Lopez-Terrada, Barbara A. Antalffy, Carlo C. Quattrocchi, Michael Sheldon, Katsuhiko Mikoshiba, Gabriella D'Arcangelo, Dawna L. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


In developing mammalian (mouse) brain, Reelin (Reln) is secreted by the Cajal-Retzius (CR) neurons in the marginal zone, binds apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoER2) and very low density lipoprotein receptor (Vldlr), and induces the phosphorylation of the downstream cytoplasmic molecule disabled-1 (Dab1) in cortical plate neurons. Although this is a well-characterized signaling pathway in mice, it has not been well defined in human brain. In this paper we examined the expression of RELN, APOER2, VLDLR, and DAB1 in the developing human brain by RT-PCR. We further determined the cellular expression of the proteins RELN and DAB1 in 50 human brains ranging in age from 10 gestational weeks (GW) to 62 years using immunochemistry. We found that the pattern of expression of RELN and DAB1 in the human brain is not identical to that observed in the mouse brain. In particular, we report the novel finding that human DAB1 and RELN are coexpressed in CR neurons during cortical development and in cortical pyramidal neurons after neuronal migration is complete. Thus, in the human brain, the whole RELN signaling pathway is present within selected populations of cortical neurons throughout life. We speculate that RELN and DAB1 coexpression in these neurons is necessary for both normal cortical development and mature function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-684
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


  • Cajal-Retzius neuron
  • Disabled-1
  • Human brain
  • Reelin


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