Forward signaling by EphB1/EphB2 interacting with ephrin-B ligands at the optic chiasm is required to form the ipsilateral projection.
ABSTRACT: EphB receptor tyrosine kinases direct axonal pathfinding through interactions with ephrin-B proteins following axon-cell contact. As EphB:ephrin-B binding leads to bidirectional signals, the contributions of signaling into the Eph-expressing cell (forward signaling) or the ephrin-expressing cell (reverse signaling) cannot be assigned using traditional protein null alleles. To determine if EphB1 is functioning solely as a receptor during axon pathfinding, a new knock-in mutant mouse was created, EphB1(T-lacZ), which expresses an intracellular-truncated EphB1-?-gal fusion protein from the endogenous locus. As in the EphB1(-/-) protein null animals, the EphB1(T-lacZ/T-lacZ) homozygotes fail to form the ipsilateral projecting subpopulation of retinal ganglion cell axons. This indicates that reverse signaling through the extracellular domain of EphB1 is not required for proper axon pathfinding of retinal axons at the optic chiasm. Further analysis of other EphB and ephrin-B mutant mice shows that EphB1 is the preferred receptor of ephrin-B2 and, to a lesser degree, ephrin-B1 in mediating axon guidance at the optic chiasm despite the coexpression of EphB2 in the same ipsilaterally projecting retinal axons.
Project description:The circuit for binocular vision and stereopsis is established at the optic chiasm, where retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons diverge into the ipsilateral and contralateral optic tracts. In the mouse retina, ventrotemporal (VT) RGCs express the guidance receptor EphB1, which interacts with the repulsive guidance cue ephrin-B2 on radial glia at the optic chiasm to direct VT RGC axons ipsilaterally. RGCs in the ventral retina also express EphB2, which interacts with ephrin-B2, whereas dorsal RGCs express low levels of EphB receptors. To investigate how growth cones of RGCs from different retinal regions respond upon initial contact with ephrin-B2, we utilized time-lapse imaging to characterize the effects of ephrin-B2 on growth cone collapse and axon retraction in real time. We demonstrate that bath application of ephrin-B2 induces rapid and sustained growth cone collapse and axon retraction in VT RGC axons, whereas contralaterally-projecting dorsotemporal RGCs display moderate growth cone collapse and little axon retraction. Dose response curves reveal that contralaterally-projecting ventronasal axons are less sensitive to ephrin-B2 treatment compared to VT axons. Additionally, we uncovered a specific role for Rho kinase signaling in the retraction of VT RGC axons but not in growth cone collapse. The detailed characterization of growth cone behavior in this study comprises an assay for the study of Eph signaling in RGCs, and provides insight into the phenomena of growth cone collapse and axon retraction in general.
Project description:Graded expression of EphB and ephrin-B along the dorsoventral axis of the retina indicates a role for these bidirectional signalling molecules in dorsoventral-mediolateral retinocollicular mapping. Although previous studies have implicated EphB2 forward signalling in mice, the intracellular component of EphB2 essential for retinocollicular mapping is unknown as are the roles for EphB1, ephrin-B1, and ephrin-B2. Here we show that EphB2 tyrosine kinase catalytic activity and EphB1 intracellular signalling are key mediators of ventral-temporal retinal ganglion cell axon retinocollicular mapping, by likely interacting with ephrin-B1 in the superior colliculus. We further elucidate roles for the ephrin-B2 intracellular domain in retinocollicular mapping and present the unexpected finding that both dorsal and ventral-temporal retinal ganglion cell axons utilize reverse signalling for topographic mapping. These data demonstrate that both forward and reverse signalling initiated by EphB:ephrin-B interactions have a major role in dorsoventral retinal ganglion cell axon termination along the mediolateral axis of the superior colliculus.
Project description:At the optic chiasm, retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons make the decision to either avoid or traverse the midline, a maneuver that establishes the binocular pathways. In mice, the ipsilateral retinal projection arises from RGCs in the peripheral ventrotemporal (VT) crescent of the retina. These RGCs express the guidance receptor EphB1, which interacts with ephrin-B2 on radial glia cells at the optic chiasm to repulse VT axons away from the midline and into the ipsilateral optic tract. However, because VT RGCs express more than one EphB receptor, the sufficiency and specificity of the EphB1 receptor in directing the ipsilateral projection is unclear. In this study, we use in utero retinal electroporation to demonstrate that ectopic EphB1 expression can redirect RGCs with a normally crossed projection to an ipsilateral trajectory. Moreover, EphB1 is specifically required for rerouting RGC projections ipsilaterally, because introduction of the highly similar EphB2 receptor is much less efficient in redirecting RGC fibers, even when expressed at higher surface levels. Introduction of EphB1-EphB2 chimeric receptors into RGCs reveals that both extracellular and juxtamembrane domains of EphB1 are required to efficiently convert RGC projections ipsilaterally. Together, these data describe for the first time functional differences between two highly similar Eph receptors at a decision point in vivo, with EphB1 displaying unique properties that efficiently drives the uncrossed retinal projection.
Project description:Eph receptors play pivotal roles in the axon guidance of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) at the optic chiasm and the establishment of the topographic retinocollicular map. We previously demonstrated that protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type O (PTPRO) is specifically involved in the control of retinotectal projections in chicks through the dephosphorylation of EphA and EphB receptors. We subsequently revealed that all the mouse R3 subfamily members (PTPRB, PTPRH, PTPRJ, and PTPRO) of the receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase (RPTP) family inhibited Eph receptors as their substrates in cultured mammalian cells. We herein investigated the functional roles of R3 RPTPs in the projection of mouse retinal axon of both sexes. <i>Ptpro</i> and <i>Ptprj</i> were expressed in mouse RGCs; however, <i>Ptprj</i> expression levels were markedly higher than those of <i>Ptpro</i> Consistent with their expression levels, Eph receptor activity was significantly enhanced in <i>Ptprj</i>-knock-out (<i>Ptprj</i>-KO) retinas. In <i>Ptprj</i>-KO and <i>Ptprj</i>/<i>Ptpro</i>-double-KO (DKO) mice, the number of retinal axons that projected ipsilaterally or to the contralateral eye was significantly increased. Furthermore, retinal axons in <i>Ptprj</i>-KO and DKO mice formed anteriorly shifted ectopic terminal zones in the superior colliculus (SC). We found that c-Abl (Abelson tyrosine kinase) was downstream of ephrin-Eph signaling for the repulsion of retinal axons at the optic chiasm and in the SC. c-Abl was identified as a novel substrate for PTPRJ and PTPRO, and the phosphorylation of c-Abl was upregulated in <i>Ptprj</i>-KO and DKO retinas. Thus, PTPRJ regulates retinocollicular projections in mice by controlling the activity of Eph and c-Abl kinases.<b>SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT</b> Correct retinocollicular projection is a prerequisite for proper vision. Eph receptors have been implicated in retinal axon guidance at the optic chiasm and the establishment of the topographic retinocollicular map. We herein demonstrated that protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type J (PTPRJ) regulated retinal axonal projections by controlling Eph activities. The retinas of <i>Ptprj</i>-knock-out (KO) and <i>Ptpro</i>/<i>Ptprj</i> double-KO mice exhibited significantly enhanced Eph activities over those in wild-type mice, and their axons showed defects in pathfinding at the chiasm and retinocollicular topographic map formation. We also revealed that c-Abl (Abelson tyrosine kinase) downstream of Eph receptors was regulated by PTPRJ. These results indicate that the regulation of the ephrin-Eph-c-Abl axis by PTPRJ plays pivotal roles in the proper central projection of retinal axons during development.
Project description:During development axons encounter a variety of choice points where they have to make appropriate pathfinding decisions. The optic chiasm is a major decision point for retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons en route to their target in order to ensure the correct wiring of the visual system. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) belong to the class of small non-coding RNA molecules and have been identified as important regulators of a variety of processes during embryonic development. However, their involvement in axon guidance decisions is less clear.We report here that the early loss of Dicer, an essential protein for the maturation of miRNAs, in all cells of the forming retina and optic chiasm leads to severe phenotypes of RGC axon pathfinding at the midline. Using a conditional deletion approach in mice, we find in homozygous Dicer mutants a marked increase of ipsilateral projections, RGC axons extending outside the optic chiasm, the formation of a secondary optic tract and a substantial number of RGC axons projecting aberrantly into the contralateral eye. In addition, the mutant mice display a microphthalmia phenotype.Our work demonstrates an important role of Dicer controlling the extension of RGC axons to the brain proper. It indicates that miRNAs are essential regulatory elements for mechanisms that ensure correct axon guidance decisions at the midline and thus have a central function in the establishment of circuitry during the development of the nervous system.
Project description:Contact-dependent interactions between EphB receptors and ephrin-B ligands mediate a variety of cell-cell communication events in the developing and mature central nervous system (CNS). These predominantly repulsive interactions occur at the interface between what are considered to be mutually exclusive EphB and ephrin-B expression domains. We previously used receptor and ligand affinity probes to show that ephrin-B ligands are expressed in the floor plate and within a dorsal region of the embryonic mouse spinal cord, while EphB receptors are present on decussated segments of commissural axons that navigate between these ephrin-B domains. Here we present the generation and characterization of two new monoclonal antibodies, mAb EfB1-3, which recognizes EphB1, EphB2, and EphB3, and mAb efrnB1, which is specific for ephrin-B1. We use these reagents and polyclonal antibodies specific for EphB1, EphB2, EphB3, or ephrin-B1 to describe the spatiotemporal expression patterns of EphB receptors and ephrin-B1 in the vertebrate spinal cord. Consistent with affinity probe binding, we show that EphB1, EphB2, and EphB3 are each preferentially expressed on decussated segments of commissural axons in vivo and in vitro, and that ephrin-B1 is expressed in a dorsal domain of the spinal cord that includes the roof plate. In contrast to affinity probe binding profiles, we show here that EphB1, EphB2, and EphB3 are present on the ventral commissure, and that EphB1 and EphB3 are expressed on axons that compose the dorsal funiculus. In addition, we unexpectedly find that mesenchymal cells, which surround the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion, express ephrin-B1.
Project description:Mammalian binocular vision relies on the divergence of retinal ganglion cell axons at the optic chiasm, with strictly controlled numbers projecting contralaterally and ipsilaterally. In mouse, contralateral projections arise from the entire retina, whereas ipsilateral projections arise from ventrotemporal retina. We investigate how development of these patterns of projection is regulated by the contralateral determinant Foxg1, a forkhead box transcription factor expressed in nasal retina and at the chiasm. In nasal retina, loss of Foxg1 causes increased numbers of ipsilateral projections and ectopic expression of the ipsilateral determinants Zic2, Ephb1 and Foxd1, indicating that nasal retina is competent to express an ipsilateral program that is normally suppressed by Foxg1. Using co-cultures that combine Foxg1-expressing with Foxg1-null retinal explants and chiasm cells, we provide functional evidence that Foxg1 promotes contralateral projections through actions in nasal retina, and that in chiasm cells, Foxg1 is required for the generation of a hitherto unrecognized activity supporting RGC axon growth.
Project description:Partial decussation of sensory pathways allows neural inputs from both sides of the body to project to the same target region where these signals will be integrated. Here, to better understand mechanisms of eye-specific targeting, we studied how retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons terminate in their thalamic target, the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN), when crossing at the optic chiasm midline is altered. In models with gain- and loss-of-function of EphB1, the receptor that directs the ipsilateral projection at the optic chiasm, misrouted RGCs target the appropriate retinotopic zone in the opposite dLGN. However, in EphB1(-/-) mice, the misrouted axons do not intermingle with normally projecting RGC axons and segregate instead into a distinct patch. We also revisited the role of retinal activity on eye-specific targeting by blocking correlated waves of activity with epibatidine into both eyes. We show that, in wild-type mice, retinal waves are necessary during the first postnatal week for both proper distribution and eye-specific segregation of ipsilateral axons in the mature dLGN. Moreover, in EphB1(-/-) mice, refinement of ipsilateral axons is perturbed in control conditions and is further impaired after epibatidine treatment. Finally, retinal waves are required for the formation of the segregated patch of misrouted axons in EphB1(-/-) mice. These findings implicate molecular determinants for targeting of eye-specific zones that are independent of midline guidance cues and that function in concert with correlated retinal activity to sculpt retinogeniculate projections.
Project description:Patterning events during early eye formation determine retinal cell fate and can dictate the behavior of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons as they navigate toward central brain targets. The temporally and spatially regulated expression of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and their receptors in the retina are thought to play a key role in this process, initiating gene expression cascades that distinguish different regions of the retina, particularly along the dorsoventral axis. Here, we examine the role of BMP and a potential downstream effector, EphB, in retinotopic map formation in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and superior colliculus (SC). RGC axon behaviors during retinotopic map formation in wild-type mice are compared with those in several strains of mice with engineered defects of BMP and EphB signaling. Normal RGC axon sorting produces axon order in the optic tract that reflects the dorsoventral position of the parent RGCs in the eye. A dramatic consequence of disrupting BMP signaling is a missorting of RGC axons as they exit the optic chiasm. This sorting is not dependent on EphB. When BMP signaling in the developing eye is genetically modified, RGC order in the optic tract and targeting in the LGN and SC are correspondingly disrupted. These experiments show that BMP signaling regulates dorsoventral RGC cell fate, RGC axon behavior in the ascending optic tract, and retinotopic map formation in the LGN and SC through mechanisms that are in part distinct from EphB signaling in the LGN and SC.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Extensive evidence implicates the Eph receptor family of tyrosine kinases and its ligand, ephrin, in glioma invasion, but it remains incompletely understood how these receptors affect chemotactic behavior of glioma. We sought to identify the Eph family members that correlate with patients' survival and to reveal the function of Eph in glioma invasion.<h4>Methods</h4>Clinical relevance of EphB genes was confirmed in a clinically annotated expression data set of 195 brain biopsy specimens. The function of EphB was analyzed in vitro and in vivo.<h4>Results</h4>Levels of mRNA of certain EphB members were significantly different in histological grades of glioma. According to Kaplan-Meier analysis, only the EphB1 level among 5 members of EphB emerged to be a powerful predictor of favorable survival in malignant glioma (n = 97, P = .0048), although the levels of EphB1 expression did not vary across the tumor grades. Immunoprecipitation showed that tyrosine phosphorylated EphB1 was not detected in all glioma cells tested. Forced overexpression and autophosphorylation of EphB1 in low expressor cell lines (U251, U87) did not affect cell migration or invasion in vitro, whereas EphB1 phosphorylation induced by ephrin-B2/Fc significantly decreased migration and invasion. Cells expressing ephrin-B2 showed noteworthy morphological changes consistent with migration induction; this alteration was negated by EphB1 overexpression. Concomitantly, overexpression of EphB1 abrogated the increased migration and invasion induced by ephrin-B2 in vitro and in vivo.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These data suggest that ligand-dependent EphB1 signaling negatively regulates glioma cell invasion, identifying EphB1 as a favorable prognostic factor in malignant glioma.