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Dev Neurobiol. 2010 Sep 15;70(11):781-94. doi: 10.1002/dneu.20821.

Ephrin-B2 elicits differential growth cone collapse and axon retraction in retinal ganglion cells from distinct retinal regions.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032, USA.

Abstract

The circuit for binocular vision and stereopsis is established at the optic chiasm, where retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons diverge into the ipsilateral and contralateral optic tracts. In the mouse retina, ventrotemporal (VT) RGCs express the guidance receptor EphB1, which interacts with the repulsive guidance cue ephrin-B2 on radial glia at the optic chiasm to direct VT RGC axons ipsilaterally. RGCs in the ventral retina also express EphB2, which interacts with ephrin-B2, whereas dorsal RGCs express low levels of EphB receptors. To investigate how growth cones of RGCs from different retinal regions respond upon initial contact with ephrin-B2, we utilized time-lapse imaging to characterize the effects of ephrin-B2 on growth cone collapse and axon retraction in real time. We demonstrate that bath application of ephrin-B2 induces rapid and sustained growth cone collapse and axon retraction in VT RGC axons, whereas contralaterally-projecting dorsotemporal RGCs display moderate growth cone collapse and little axon retraction. Dose response curves reveal that contralaterally-projecting ventronasal axons are less sensitive to ephrin-B2 treatment compared to VT axons. Additionally, we uncovered a specific role for Rho kinase signaling in the retraction of VT RGC axons but not in growth cone collapse. The detailed characterization of growth cone behavior in this study comprises an assay for the study of Eph signaling in RGCs, and provides insight into the phenomena of growth cone collapse and axon retraction in general.

PMID:
20629048
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2930402
Free PMC Article

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