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Can We Explain Thousands of Molecularly Identified Mouse Neuronal Types?

Publication year 2024
Published in Biomolecules
Authors Luis Puelles, Rudolf Nieuwenhuys

At the end of 2023, the Whole Mouse Brain Atlas was announced, revealing that there are about 5300 molecularly defined neuronal types in the mouse brain. We ask whether brain models exist that contemplate how this is possible. The conventional columnar model, implicitly used by the authors of the Atlas, is incapable of doing so with only 20 brain columns (5 brain vesicles with 4 columns each). We argue that the definition of some 1250 distinct progenitor microzones, each producing at least 4-5 neuronal types over time, may be sufficient. Presently, this is nearly achieved by the prosomeric model amplified by the secondary dorsoventral and anteroposterior microzonation of progenitor areas, plus the clonal variation in cell types produced, on average, by each of them.

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