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Development. 2002 Feb;129(3):671-80.

Requirement of neuropilin 1-mediated Sema3A signals in patterning of the sympathetic nervous system.

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  • 1Group of Developmental Neurobiology, Division of Biological Science, Nagoya University Graduate School of Science, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan.


Neuropilin 1 is the specific receptor for Sema3A and plays a role in nerve fiber guidance. We report that neuropilin 1 and Sema3A mutant mouse embryos, generated by targeted gene disruption, showed displacement of sympathetic neurons and their precursors and abnormal morphogenesis in the sympathetic trunk. We also show that Sema3A suppressed the cell migration activity of sympathetic neurons from wild-type but not neuropilin 1 mutant embryos in vitro and instead promoted their accumulation into compact cell masses and fasciculation of their neurites. These findings suggest that the neuropilin 1-mediated Sema3A signals regulate arrest and aggregation of sympathetic neuron precursors and sympathetic neurons themselves at defined target sites and axon fasciculation to produce the stereotyped sympathetic nerve pattern.

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