Repurposing Reelin: The new role of radial glia, Reelin and Notch in motor neuron migration

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The role of Reelin during cerebral cortical neuron migration has long been studied, but the Reelin signaling pathway and its possible interactions are just beginning to be unraveled. Reelin is not only important in cerebral cortical migration, but has recently been shown to interact with the Notch signaling pathway and to be critical for radial glial cell number and morphology. Lee and Song (2013) show a new Notch- and Reelin-dependent role for radial glia in the mouse spinal cord: to act as a fine filter that allows somatic motor neuron axons but not cell bodies to traverse out of the CNS. Here, the types of neuronal migration are discussed, focusing on motor neurons and cues for proper localization. The interaction of Reelin signaling with the Notch pathway is reviewed, which dictates the proper formation of radial glia in the spinal cord in order to prevent ectopic motor neuron migration (Lee and Song, 2013). Future studies may reveal novel interactions and further insights as to how Reelin functions throughout the developing nervous system.

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