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J Comp Neurol. 2000 Jan 24;416(4):540-50.

Expression of EphA5 during development of the olfactory nerve pathway in rat.

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  • 1Department of Anatomical Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.


The olfactory neuroepithelium is a highly plastic region of the nervous system that undergoes continual turnover of primary olfactory neurons throughout life. The mechanisms responsible for persistent growth and guidance of primary olfactory axons along the olfactory nerve are unknown. In the present study, we used antibodies against the Eph-related receptor, EphA5, to localise EphA5, and recombinant EphA5-IgG fusion protein to localise its ligands. We found that although both EphA5 and its ligands were both expressed by primary olfactory neurons within the embryonic olfactory nerve pathway, there was no graded or complementary expression pattern. In contrast, the expression patterns altered postnatally such that primary olfactory neurons expressed the ligands, whereas the second-order olfactory neurons, the mitral cells, expressed EphA5. The role of EphA5 was analysed by blocking EphA5-ligand interactions in explant cultures of olfactory neuroepithelium using anti-EphA5 antibodies and recombinant EphA5. These perturbations reduced neurite outgrowth from explant cultures and suggest that intrafascicular axon repulsion may serve to limit adhesion and optimise conditions for axon growth.

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