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Neuropilin-2 is required in vivo for guidance and targeting of vomeronasal neurons



Neuropilin-2 is required in vivo for guidance and targeting of vomeronasal neurons



Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 27(2): 1544



Semaphorins are a large family of molecules essential for axon guidance during neural development. Neuropilins (Npn) are type I transmembrane proteins that serve as ligand-binding components of secreted semaphorin receptors. While both neuropilins are expressed in the main olfactory epithelium, npn-2, but not npn-1, is expressed in the vomeronasal organ. To gain insight into the role of Npn-2 in guidance of vomeronasal axons during development, we have studied the organization and axonal pathfinding of these neurons in mice with a targeted deletion in the npn-2 locus. Heterozygous crosses were performed with mice expressing tau-LacZ in specific V1R-containing vomeronasal neurons to visualize projections of vomeronasal axons and their segregated innervation of the anterior region of the accessory olfactory bulb. We found that projections of vomeronasal neurons are severely disorganized in mice lacking Npn-2. The vomeronasal nerve projecting to the accessory olfactory bulb was found to be severely defasciculated. Furthermore, a subset of V1R-containing vomeronasal neurons ectopically innervate the posterior region of the accessory olfactory bulb and portions of the main olfactory bulb. In vitro co-culture experiments showed that vomeronasal axons are repelled by the secreted semaphorin Sema3F in a Npn-2-dependent fashion. Our results indicate that semaphorin-neuropilin interactions contribute to the guidance of axons of vomeronasal neurons to their glomerular targets within the accessory olfactory bulb.

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Accession: 035382059

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