Mice that lack all β1-class integrins in neurons and glia die prematurely after birth with severe brain malformations. Cortical hemispheres and cerebellar folia fuse, and cortical laminae are perturbed. These defects result from disorganization of the cortical marginal zone, where β1-class integrins regulate glial endfeet anchorage, meningeal basement membrane remodeling, and formation of the Cajal-Retzius cell layer. Surprisingly, β1-class integrins are not essential for neuron-glia interactions and neuronal migration during corticogenesis. The phenotype of the β1-deficient mice resembles pathological changes observed in human cortical dysplasias, suggesting that defective integrin-mediated signal transduction contributes to the development of some of these diseases.
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