Roles for ephrins in positionally selective synaptogenesis between motor neurons and muscle fibers

Feng G, Laskowski MB, Feldheim DA, Wang H, Lewis R, Frisen J, Flanagan JG, Sanes JR (2000). Neuron, 25(2):295-306
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Motor axons form topographic maps on muscles: rostral motor pools innervate rostral muscles, and rostral portions of motor pools innervate rostral fibers within their targets. Here, we implicate A subfamily ephrins in this topographic mapping. First, developing muscles express all five of the ephrin-A genes. Second, rostrally and caudally derived motor axons differ in sensitivity to outgrowth inhibition by ephrin-A5. Third, the topographic map of motor axons on the gluteus muscle is degraded in transgenic mice that overexpress ephrin-A5 in muscles. Fourth, topographic mapping is impaired in muscles of mutant mice lacking ephrin-A2 plus ephrin-A5. Thus, ephrins mediate or modulate positionally selective synapse formation. In addition, the rostrocaudal position of at least one motor pool is altered in ephrin-A5 mutant mice, indicating that ephrins affect nerve-muscle matching by intraspinal as well as intramuscular mechanisms.

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Posted on December 2, 2000
Posted in: Transgenic Vectors