Endogenous electric currents might guide rostral migration of neuroblasts

Lin Cao, Dongguang Wei, Brian Reid, Siwei Zhao, Jin Pu, Tingrui Pan, Ebenezer Yamoah, Min Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanisms that guide directional migration of neuroblasts from the subventricular zone (SVZ) are not well understood. We report here that endogenous electric currents serve as a guidance cue for neuroblast migration. We identify the existence of naturally occurring electric currents (1.5±0.6 μA/cm(2), average field strength of ∼3 mV/mm) along the rostral migration path in adult mouse brain. Electric fields of similar strength direct migration of neuroblasts from the SVZ in culture and in brain slices. The purinergic receptor P2Y1 mediates this migration. The results indicate that naturally occurring electric currents serve as a new guidance mechanism for rostral neuronal migration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-190
Number of pages7
JournalEMBO reports
Issue number2
Early online date18 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • animals
  • cell movement
  • cerebral ventricles
  • electric impedance
  • electric stimulation
  • electrodes
  • gene knockdown techniques
  • mice
  • neural stem cells
  • olfactory bulb
  • purinergic P2Y receptor antagonists
  • RNA, small interfering
  • receptors, purinergic P2Y1
  • suramin
  • neuroblast
  • rostral migration
  • electric field
  • electrical corridors
  • purinergic receptor


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