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Journal Article

Ephrin-A5 restricts topographically specific arborization in the chick retinotectal projection in vivo


Drescher,  U
Department Physical Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Sakurai, T., Wong, E., Drescher, U., Tanaka, H., & Jay, D. (2002). Ephrin-A5 restricts topographically specific arborization in the chick retinotectal projection in vivo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 99(16), 10795-10800. doi:10.1073/pnas.162161499.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000D-F374-E
The retinotectal map is the best characterized model system to study how axons respond to guidance cues during the formation of the nervous system. Recent studies have shown that the critical event in forming this map is topographic-specific axon branching. To elucidate the in vivo role of the repulsive cue ephrin-A5 in this event, we used chromophore-assisted laser inactivation (CALI) to generate acute loss of ephrin-A5 function in localized areas of the posterior tectum of chick embryos in ovo and analyzed the resulting changes of retinal projections during initial outgrowth (E11) and when retinal axons arborize in the deep layers in the tectum (E12). We confirmed that ephrin-A5 functions to restrict initial axon outgrowth at E11. At E12, CALI of ephrin-A5 did not affect the extent of axon outgrowth on the tectal surface but instead caused ectopic arborization posterior to the topographically correct site in deeper layers of the tectum. This shows that ephrin-A5 restricts arborization during this critical process for developing the retinotopic map. CALI provides an approach to inactivate in vivo function in higher vertebrates with high temporal and spatial specificity that may have wide application.