Axonal Pathfinding

Science's STKE  16 Dec 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 213, pp. tw491
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2132003tw491

In the developing vertebrate nervous system, spinal cord commissural neurons extend axons across the midline region of the embryo and turn anteriorly toward the brain. Lyuksyutova et al. (see the Perspective by Imondi and Thomas) report that the choice to turn toward the brain is controlled by secreted proteins of the Wnt family. Wnt proteins behave as chemoattractants and Wnt4 displays a functional gradient in the floor plate along the anterior-posterior axis. Axons lacking Frizzled3, a Wnt receptor, have defects in pathfinding.

A. I. Lyuksyutova, C.-C. Lu, N. Milanesio, L. A. King, N. Guo, Y. Wang, J. Nathans, M. Tessier-Lavigne, Y. Zou, Anterior-posterior guidance of commissural axons by Wnt-Frizzled signaling. Science 302, 1984-1988 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]

R. Imondi, J. B. Thomas, The ups and downs of Wnt signaling. Science 302, 1903-1904 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]