Heterotopic reelin in human nodular heterotopia: A neuropathological study

Laura Rossini, Laura Tassi, Roberto Spreafico, Rita Garbelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: The extracellular matrix glycoprotein reelin plays a crucial roleinthe control of neuronal migration and during development is expressed by Cajal-Retzius cells in the marginal zone. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible involvement of reelin in the pathogenesis of human nodular heterotopia, a malformation of cortical development frequently associated with focal drug-resistant epilepsy. Methods: Five patients presenting with subcortical nodular heterotopia and referred for epilepsy surgery, after a comprehensive presurgical investigation, were considered. The surgical specimens were studied by combining immuno his to chemistry, double immunofluorescence, and in situ hybridisation procedures. Results: The selected cases were characterised by the presence of multiple nodules presenting in the core cell-free zones, reminiscent of the cortical molecular layer. In all cases, small reelin-positive cells, without typical Cajal-Retzius cell features, were distributed inside the nodules and localised in these cell body-sparse regions. Conclusion: The presented data corroborate the hypothesis that reelin might be involved in human heterotopic nodular formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-402
Number of pages5
JournalEpileptic Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Human epilepsy
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Nodular heterotopia
  • Reelin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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