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Dev Biol. 2002 Sep 15;249(2):321-32.

Crossing the ventral midline causes neurons to change their response to floor plate and alar plate attractive cues during transmedian migration.

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Division of Behavior and Neurobiology, National Institute for Basic Biology, Myodaiji-cho, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan.


Neuronal migration is required for the establishment of specific neural structures, such as layers and nuclei. Neurons migrate along specific migratory routes toward their final destinations, sometimes across long distances. However, the cellular and molecular interactions that control neuronal migration are largely unknown. Here, we examined the mechanism underlying the transmedian migration of precerebellar neurons using a flat whole-mount preparation of the rat embryo. These neurons were initially attracted by the floor plate (FP) at the ventral midline. However, after crossing the midline, they lost their responsiveness to the FP and became attracted by the alar plate (AP). Although the loss of responsiveness to FP cues was caused by an encounter of migrating cells with the FP, the gain of responsiveness to AP cues occurred irrespective of their encounter with the FP. These results identify a crucial change in the response of migrating cells to attractive guidance cues during the transmedian migration of precerebellar neurons.

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