To understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating cytogenesis within the neocortical ventricular zone, we examined at high resolution the spatiotemporal expression patterns of Ngn2 and Tbr2. Individually DiI-labeled daughter cells were tracked from their birth in slice cultures and immunostained for Ngn2 and Tbr2. Both proteins were initially absent from daughter cells during the first 2 h. Ngn2 expression was then initiated asymmetrically in one of the daughter cells, with a bias towards the apical cell, followed by a similar pattern of expression for Tbr2, which we found to be a direct target of Ngn2. How this asymmetric Ngn2 expression is achieved is unclear, but γ-secretase inhibition at the birth of daughter cells resulted in premature Ngn2 expression, suggesting that Notch signaling in nascent daughter cells suppresses a Ngn2-Tbr2 cascade. Many of the nascent cells exhibited pin-like morphology with a short ventricular process, suggesting periventricular presentation of Notch ligands to these cells.
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