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Determination of neuroglial cell fate and neural tube development during embryogenesis is influenced by the Notch/Wnt signalling pathway. We have studied the localisation of several proteins in the Wnt pathway in focal cortical dysplasia (FCD). This disorder, thought to be due to abnormalities of neuronal migration and differentiation, contains regions of morphologically normal neocortex interrupted by areas of neuronal laminar disorganisation, heterotopic white matter neurons, abnormal large neurons and balloon cells of uncertain histogenesis. We found that the subcellular distribution of several proteins involved in the Wnt pathway differed in regions of FCD from normal cortex, and that within the areas of FCD, the pattern varied with cellular phenotype. Thus, in balloon cells, elevated cytoplasmic levels of dishevelled (Dvl-1) protein were accompanied by an absence of Notch-1, increased adenomatous poliposis coli (APC), altered cytoplasmic beta-catenin, and reduced nuclear expression of beta-catenin. A contrasting pattern of expression was found in abnormal large neurons, which demonstrated elevated levels of Notch-1, and glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta), and normal levels of APC. Our results are consistent with the notion that Wnt/Notch signalling influences neuroglial cell fate, and suggest that a perturbation of Wnt/Notch signalling may contribute to the neuropathology of FCD.


Journal article


Acta Neuropathol

Publication Date





465 - 472


Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing, Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein, Adolescent, Adult, Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases, Cerebral Cortex, Child, Child, Preschool, Cytoskeletal Proteins, Dishevelled Proteins, Female, Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3, Glycogen Synthase Kinases, Humans, Infant, Male, Membrane Proteins, Neuroglia, Neurons, Phosphoproteins, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Receptors, Notch, Trans-Activators, Wnt Proteins, Zebrafish Proteins, beta Catenin