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Neuron. 1999 Mar;22(3):463-73.

Slit2-Mediated chemorepulsion and collapse of developing forebrain axons.

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  • 1INSERM U106, Bâtiment de Pédiatrie, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


Diffusible chemorepellents play a major role in guiding developing axons toward their correct targets by preventing them from entering or steering them away from certain regions. Genetic studies in Drosophila revealed a novel repulsive guidance system that prevents inappropriate axons from crossing the CNS midline; this repulsive system is mediated by the Roundabout (Robo) receptor and its secreted ligand Slit. In rodents, Robo and Slit are expressed in the spinal cord and Slit can repel spinal motor axons in vitro. Here, we extend these findings into higher brain centers by showing that Robo1 and Robo2, as well as Slit1 and Slit2, are often expressed in complementary patterns in the developing forebrain. Furthermore, we show that human Slit2 can repel olfactory and hippocampal axons and collapse their growth cones.

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