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J Comp Neurol February 1, 1981; 195 (4): 627-41.

Substrate pathways demonstrated by transplanted Mauthner axons.

Katz MJ , Lasek RJ .

A substrate pathway is a set of aligned guidance cues. (Such cues may be either cells or molecules.) CNS substrate pathways can be demonstrated by transplanting axons to different starting locations. The stereotyped routes of transplanted axons will then demonstrate the locations of effective substrate pathways. To map CNS substrate pathways, Mauthner axons were transplanted to various unnatural locations along the CNS of Xenopus embryos. The routes of 24 experimental Mauthner axons were traced. Twenty-one of these axons grew along parts of a stereotyped route extending in the ventral marginal zone from the caudal diencephalon through the spinal cord. This ventral substrate pathway ran the length of the basal plate; thus, we call it a basal substrate pathway. One experimental Mauthner axon grew along the alar substrate pathway previously demonstrated by transplanted optic axons. The demonstrations of the alar and the basal substrate pathways suggest that during development a few long substrate pathways organize the overall layout of the long tracts of the CNS. We propose that the pattern of the earliest CNS substrate pathways is established in the neural plate and is topologically preserved as the neural plate rolls into a neural tube. This pattern may be manifest as the three-dimensional organization of the early marginal zones formed by the peripheral processes (the endfeet) of certain developing ependyma and radial glia. Subsequently, the detailed anatomy of the axon tracts and the specific terminations of individual axons are probably determined by other local chemical cues.

PubMed ID: 7462445
Article link: J Comp Neurol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: ran