Transcriptomics

Dataset Information

3

Expression data from embryonic mouse cervical spinal cords


ABSTRACT: Mammalian motor circuits control voluntary movements by transmitting signals from the central nervous system (CNS) to muscle targets. To form these circuits, motor neurons (MNs) must extend their axons out of the CNS. Although motor axon exit from the CNS is an indispensable phase of motor axon pathfinding, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain obscure. Here, we present the first identification of a genetic pathway that regulates motor axon exit from the vertebrate spinal cord, utilizing spinal accessory motor neurons (SACMN) as a model system. SACMN are a homogeneous population of spinal MNs whose axons leave the CNS through a discrete lateral exit point (LEP) and can be visualized by the expression of the cell surface protein, BEN. We show that the homeodomain transcription factor, Nkx2.9, is selectively required for SACMN axon exit and identify the Robo2 guidance receptor as a likely downstream effector of Nkx2.9; loss of Nkx2.9 leads to a reduction in Robo2 mRNA and protein within SACMN and SACMN axons fail to exit the spinal cord in Robo2-deficient mice. Consistent with short-range interactions between Robo2 and Slit ligands regulating SACMN axon exit, Robo2-expressing SACMN axons normally navigate through LEP-associated Slits as they emerge from the spinal cord, and fail to exit in Slit-deficient mice. Our studies support the view that Nkx2.9 controls SACMN axon exit from the mammalian spinal cord by regulating Robo-Slit signaling. We utilized microarray technology to identify novel downstream effectors of the homeodomain transcription factor, Nkx2.9, that regulate spinal accessory motor neuron development.

REANALYSIS of: E-GEOD-47953

ORGANISM(S): Mus musculus  

PROVIDER: E-GEOD-47953 | ExpressionAtlas | 2015-07-15

REPOSITORIES: ExpressionAtlas

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