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Neuron. 2003 May 22;38(4):581-96.

Topographic motor projections in the limb imposed by LIM homeodomain protein regulation of ephrin-A:EphA interactions.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


The formation of topographic neural maps relies on the coordinate assignment of neuronal cell body position and axonal trajectory. The projection of motor neurons of the lateral motor column (LMC) along the dorsoventral axis of the limb mesenchyme constitutes a simple topographic map that is organized in a binary manner. We show that LIM homeodomain proteins establish motor neuron topography by coordinating the mediolateral settling position of motor neurons within the LMC with the dorsoventral selection of axon pathways in the limb. These topographic projections are established, in part, through LIM homeodomain protein control of EphA receptors and ephrin-A ligands in motor neurons and limb mesenchymal cells.

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