Role of Per3, a circadian clock gene, in embryonic development of mouse cerebral cortex.


Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Institute for Developmental Research, Aichi Human Service Center, Kasugai, Japan. [Email]


Per3 is one of the primary components of circadian clock system. While circadian dysregulation is known to be involved in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric diseases. It remains largely unknown whether they participate in embryonic brain development. Here, we examined the role of clock gene Per3 in the development of mouse cerebral cortex. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that Per3 is expressed in the developing mouse cortex. Acute knockdown of Per3 with in utero electroporation caused abnormal positioning of cortical neurons, which was rescued by RNAi-resistant Per3. Per3-deficient cells showed abnormal migration phenotypes, impaired axon extension and dendritic arbor formation. Taken together, Per3 was found to play a pivotal role in corticogenesis via regulation of excitatory neuron migration and synaptic network formation.