The dentate gyrus (DG) is one of two areas in the mature brain where stem cells reside to continuously produce new neurons throughout adulthood. While much research has focused on the DG for its roles in adult neurogenesis, little is known regarding how this key region of the brain initially develops to form its distinct architecture.Weshow here that the murine EphB2 receptor tyrosine kinase is critical for embryonic/postnatal development of a specific region of the DG known as the lateral suprapyramidal blade (LSB). Intracellular truncation and point mutants demonstrate that EphB2 catalytic activity is essential for LSB formation. This is consistent with expression of EphB2 in nestin-positive neural progenitor cells that migrate medially from the lateral ventricle dentate notch neuroepithelium to populate the tertiary matrix and form the DG near the midline of the brain. Animals lacking ephrin-B1 recapitulate loss of the receptor and show that this molecule acts as the ligand to stimulate EphB2 forward signaling and direct migration of the neural progenitors into the dorsal compartment of the tertiary matrix and form the LSB. Immunoreactivity against the extracellular matrix protein Reelin in a region directly above the developing LSB is dramatically reduced when EphB2 forward signaling is disrupted. Together, these results indicate ephrin-B1 interacting with EphB2 controls the migration of dentate progenitor cells into the dorsal half of the developing DG, perhaps in part by affecting Reelin expression in a key compartment directly above the LSB.
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