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J Neurosci January 13, 2010; 30 (2): 685-93.
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Dynamic expression of axon guidance cues required for optic tract development is controlled by fibroblast growth factor signaling.

Atkinson-Leadbeater K , Bertolesi GE , Hehr CL , Webber CA , Cechmanek PB , McFarlane S .

Axons are guided to their targets by molecular cues expressed in their environment. How is the presence of these cues regulated? Although some evidence indicates that morphogens establish guidance cue expression as part of their role in patterning tissues, an important question is whether morphogens are then required to maintain guidance signals. We found that fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling sustains the expression of two guidance cues, semaphorin3A (xsema3A) and slit1 (xslit1), throughout the period of Xenopus optic tract development. With FGF receptor inhibition, xsema3A and xslit1 levels were rapidly diminished, and retinal ganglion cell axons arrested in the mid-diencephalon, before reaching their target. Importantly, direct downregulation of XSema3A and XSlit1 mostly phenocopied this axon guidance defect. Thus, FGFs promote continued presence of specific guidance cues critical for normal optic tract development, suggesting a second later role for morphogens, independent of tissue patterning, in maintaining select cues by acting to regulate their transcription.

PubMed ID: 20071533
PMC ID: PMC6633001
Article link: J Neurosci
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: fgf8 fgfr1 fgfr2 fgfr3 fgfr4 gnao1 lhx2 rps3a sema3a slit1 slit2 tec XB5827395 [provisional]

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Atkinson-Leadbeater, FGF receptor dependent regulation of Lhx9 expression in the developing nervous system. 2009, Pubmed, Xenbase