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Translational Neuroscience

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The discovery of the subpial granular layer in the human cerebral cortex

Miloš Judaš / Mihovil Pletikos
Published Online: 2010-09-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10134-010-0037-4


The subpial granular layer (SGL) is a transient accumulation of tangentially migrating small granular neurons in the marginal zone of the developing fetal neocortex. It has recently attracted attention as a possible additional source of future cortical interneurons, or even as a putative precursor pool for generation of Cajal-Retzius cells. The discovery of the SGL is generally attributed to Otto Ranke and it is usually claimed that the SGL is specific for human brain. The aim of this review is: (1) to demonstrate that the first to observe SGL in the human cerebral cortex was not Otto Ranke in 1910, but Franz Boll in 1874; (2) to provide an English translation of Ranke’s original description of the SGL and thus demonstrate that he described the SGL in both human and animal brain; and (3) to provide a concise review of current studies concerning the developmental fate and possible functions of the transient fetal SGL.

Keywords: Subpial granular layer; Marginal zone; Developing neocortex; Otto Ranke; Franz Boll

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About the article

Published Online: 2010-09-29

Published in Print: 2010-09-01

Citation Information: Translational Neuroscience, Volume 1, Issue 3, Pages 255–260, ISSN (Online) 2081-6936, ISSN (Print) 2081-3856, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10134-010-0037-4.

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© 2010 Versita Warsaw. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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