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Neuron. 2003 Jul 31;39(3):453-65.

Area specificity and topography of thalamocortical projections are controlled by ephrin/Eph genes.

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  • 1IRIBHM, University of Brussels (U.L.B.), 808 Route de Lennik, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium.

Abstract

The mechanisms generating precise connections between specific thalamic nuclei and cortical areas remain poorly understood. Using axon tracing analysis of ephrin/Eph mutant mice, we provide in vivo evidence that Eph receptors in the thalamus and ephrins in the cortex control intra-areal topographic mapping of thalamocortical (TC) axons. In addition, we show that the same ephrin/Eph genes unexpectedly control the inter-areal specificity of TC projections through the early topographic sorting of TC axons in an intermediate target, the ventral telencephalon. Our results constitute the first identification of guidance cues involved in inter-areal specificity of TC projections and demonstrate that the same set of mapping labels is used differentially for the generation of topographic specificity of TC projections between and within individual cortical areas.

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PMID:
12895420
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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