Axon guidance mechanisms are crucial to the development of an integrated nervous system. One family of molecules that may be important in establishing axonal connectivity in mammals is the Netrins, and their putative receptors DCC (deleted in colorectal cancer), Neogenin, and Unc-5. Knockout and mutational analyses of some of these genes have shown that they are critically involved in the development of several specific pathways in the developing brain. However, previous expression analyses of these genes have largely been confined to the developing spinal cord. In the present study, we analyzed the expression of DCC in the developing mouse forebrain. We found that DCC protein is expressed in specific axonal populations projecting from the developing olfactory bulb, neocortex, hippocampus, and epithalamus/habenular complex. In the developing olfactory bulb and neocortex, DCC expression is particularly evident during the targeting phase of axon outgrowth and is then rapidly downregulated. As predicted from the knockout and mutational analyses of this gene, DCC is expressed in axonal commissures, in particular the corpus callosum, hippocampal commissure, and the anterior commissure. In addition, we found that DCC is expressed in the habenular commissure, the fasciculus retroflexus, and the stria medularis. Therefore, this analysis implicates a function for DCC in additional axonal guidance systems not predicted from the knockout and mutational analyses.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of Comparative Neurology|
|State||Published - Jan 10 1999|
- Axon guidance
- Olfactory bulb