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Neuropilin-mediated neural crest cell guidance is essential to organise sensory neurons into segmented dorsal root ganglia

Neuropilin-mediated neural crest cell guidance is essential to organise sensory neurons into segmented dorsal root ganglia

Development 136(11): 1785-1789

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) of higher vertebrates is segmented to align the spinal nerve roots with the vertebrae. This co-patterning is set up during embryogenesis, when vertebrae develop from the sclerotome layer of the metameric somites, and PNS neurons and glia differentiate from neural crest cells (NCCs) that preferentially migrate into the anterior sclerotome halves. Previous analyses of mice deficient in the class 3 semaphorin (SEMA3) receptors neuropilin (NRP) 1 or 2 raised the possibility that each controlled a distinct aspect of trunk NCC migration. We now demonstrate that both pathways act sequentially in distinct NCC subpopulations and thereby cooperate to enforce segmental NCC migration. Specifically, SEMA3A/NRP1 signalling first directs one population of NCCs from the intersomitic path into the sclerotome, and SEMA3F/NRP2 signalling acts subsequently to restrict a second population to the anterior half of the sclerotome. NCC exclusion from either the posterior sclerotome or the intersomitic boundary is sufficient to enforce the separation of neighbouring NCC streams and the segregation of sensory NCC progeny into metameric dorsal root ganglia (DRG). By contrast, the combined loss of both guidance pathways leads to ectopic invasion of the intersomitic furrows and posterior sclerotome halves, disrupting metameric NCC streaming and DRG segmentation.

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Accession: 054589027

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PMID: 19386662

DOI: 10.1242/dev.034322

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