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Immature excitatory neurons develop during adolescence in the human amygdala.

  • Author(s): Sorrells, Shawn F
  • Paredes, Mercedes F
  • Velmeshev, Dmitry
  • Herranz-Pérez, Vicente
  • Sandoval, Kadellyn
  • Mayer, Simone
  • Chang, Edward F
  • Insausti, Ricardo
  • Kriegstein, Arnold R
  • Rubenstein, John L
  • Manuel Garcia-Verdugo, Jose
  • Huang, Eric J
  • Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo
  • et al.
Abstract

The human amygdala grows during childhood, and its abnormal development is linked to mood disorders. The primate amygdala contains a large population of immature neurons in the paralaminar nuclei (PL), suggesting protracted development and possibly neurogenesis. Here we studied human PL development from embryonic stages to adulthood. The PL develops next to the caudal ganglionic eminence, which generates inhibitory interneurons, yet most PL neurons express excitatory markers. In children, most PL cells are immature (DCX+PSA-NCAM+), and during adolescence many transition into mature (TBR1+VGLUT2+) neurons. Immature PL neurons persist into old age, yet local progenitor proliferation sharply decreases in infants. Using single nuclei RNA sequencing, we identify the transcriptional profile of immature excitatory neurons in the human amygdala between 4-15 years. We conclude that the human PL contains excitatory neurons that remain immature for decades, a possible substrate for persistent plasticity at the interface of the hippocampus and amygdala.

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