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Cajal-Retzius cells

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This description is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia: The term Cajal–Retzius cell is applied to reelin-producing neurons of the human embryonic marginal zone which display, as a salient feature, radial ascending processes that contact the pial surface, and a horizontal axon plexus located in the deep marginal zone.

Cajal-Retzius cells possess very long horizontal axons that form asymmetric synaptic contacts with dendritic shafts or spines of neocortical pyramidal cells.

Cajal–Retzius cells are found in the marginal zone in all amniotes, which indicates their evolutionary homology. However, mammalian Cajal–Retzius cells produce substantially higher amounts of reelin, pointing to the spatiotemporal control of reelin expression as a key feature of cortical evolution.

Cajal described in 1891 slender horizontal bipolar cells in the developing marginal zone of lagomorphs. These cells were considered by Retzius as homologues to the cells he found in humans and in other mammals (Retzius, 1893, 1894). Similar cells are also present in the rodent marginal zone.


  • G. Retzius:
    Die Cajal'schen Zellen der Grosshirnrinde beim Menschen und bei Säugetieren.
    Biologische Untersuchungen, 1893, Neue Folge 5: 1-8.
  • G. Retzius:
    Weitere Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Cajal'schen Zellen der Grosshirnrinde des Menschen.
    Biologische Untersuchungen, 1894, Neue Folge 6: 29-36.
  • G. Meyer, A. M. Goffinet, A. Fairen:
  • What is a Cajal-Retzius cell? A reassessment of a classical cell type based on recent observations in the developing neocortex.
    Cererfal Cortex, New York, December 1999, 9 (8): 765-775.
Magnus Gustaf Retzius, Swedish anatomist and anthropologist, 1842-1919.

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