Dissecting the molecular basis of human interneuron migration in forebrain assembloids from Timothy syndrome

Fikri Birey, Min Yin Li, Aaron Gordon, Mayuri V. Thete, Alfredo M. Valencia, Omer Revah, Anca M. Paşca, Daniel H. Geschwind, Sergiu P. Paşca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Defects in interneuron migration can disrupt the assembly of cortical circuits and lead to neuropsychiatric disease. Using forebrain assembloids derived by integration of cortical and ventral forebrain organoids, we have previously discovered a cortical interneuron migration defect in Timothy syndrome (TS), a severe neurodevelopmental disease caused by a mutation in the L-type calcium channel (LTCC) Cav1.2. Here, we find that acute pharmacological modulation of Cav1.2 can regulate the saltation length, but not the frequency, of interneuron migration in TS. Interestingly, the defect in saltation length is related to aberrant actomyosin and myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation, while the defect in saltation frequency is driven by enhanced γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) sensitivity and can be restored by GABA-A receptor antagonism. Finally, we describe hypersynchronous hCS network activity in TS that is exacerbated by interneuron migration. Taken together, these studies reveal a complex role of LTCC function in human cortical interneuron migration and strategies to restore deficits in the context of disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-264.e7
JournalCell Stem Cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • GABA
  • Timothy syndrome
  • assembloids
  • calcium
  • interneurons
  • organoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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