Assessment of Dynein-Mediated Nuclear Migration in the Developing Cortex by Live-Tissue Microscopy

Haw Yuan Cheng, Fang Shin Nian, Yi Wen Ou, Jin Wu Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


During development of the cerebral cortex, neuroepithelial and radial glial cells undergo an oscillatory nuclear movement throughout their cell cycle, termed interkinetic nuclear migration. The nucleus of postmitotic neurons derived from these neural stem cells also translocates in a saltatory manner to enable neuronal migration toward the cortical plate. In these processes, various molecular motors, including cytoplasmic dynein, myosin II, and kinesins, are the driving force for nuclear migration at different stages. Despite efforts made to understand the mechanism regulating cortical development over decades, novel gene mutations discovered in neurodevelopmental disorders indicate that missing pieces still remain. Gene manipulation by in utero electroporation combined with live microscopy of neural stem cells in brain slices provides a powerful method to capture their detailed behaviors during proliferation and migration. The procedures described in this chapter enable the monitoring of cell cycle progression, mitosis, morphological changes, and migratory patterns in situ. This approach facilitates the elucidation of gene functions in cortical development and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Brain slice culture
  • Cortical development
  • In utero electroporation
  • Interkinetic nuclear migration
  • Live-tissue imaging
  • Neural stem cell
  • Radial glial cell
  • Radial migration


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