Developmental neurobiology

Deletion of RIC8A in neural precursor cells leads to altered neurogenesis and neonatal lethality of mouse.

PMID 25641781


RIC8A is a noncanonical guanine nucleotide exchange factor for a subset of Gα subunits. RIC8A has been reported in different model organisms to participate in the control of mitotic cell division, cell signalling, development and cell migration. Still, the function of RIC8A in the mammalian nervous system has not been sufficiently analysed yet. Adult mice express RIC8A in the brain regions involved in the regulation of memory and emotional behaviour. To elucidate the role of RIC8A in mammalian neurogenesis we have inactivated Ric8a in neural precursor cells using Cre/Lox system. As a result, the conditional knockout mice were born at expected Mendelian ratio, but died or were cannibalized by their mother within 12 h after birth. The cerebral cortex of the newborn Nes;Ric8a(CKO) mice was thinner compared to littermates and the basement membrane was discontinuous, enabling migrating neurons to invade to the marginal zone. In addition, the balance between the planar and oblique cell divisions was altered, influencing the neuron production. Taken together, RIC8A has an essential role in the development of mammalian nervous system by maintaining the integrity of pial basement membrane and modulating cell division.