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Neuron. 2004 Jul 8;43(1):69-79.

The slit receptor Rig-1/Robo3 controls midline crossing by hindbrain precerebellar neurons and axons.

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CNRS UMR7102, Université Paris 6, Bâtiment B, Case 12, 9 Quai Saint-Bernard, 75005 Paris, France.


During development, precerebellar neurons migrate dorsoventrally from the rhombic lip to the floor plate. Some of these neurons cross the midline while others stop. We have identified a role for the slit receptor Rig-1/Robo3 in directing this process. During their tangential migration, neurons of all major hindbrain precerebellar nuclei express high levels of Rig-1 mRNA. Rig-1 expression is rapidly downregulated as their leading process crosses the floor plate. Interestingly, most precerebellar nuclei do not develop normally in Rig-1-deficient mice, as they fail to cross the midline. In addition, inferior olivary neurons, which normally send axons into the contralateral cerebellum, project ipsilaterally in Rig-1 mutant mice. Similarly, neurons of the lateral reticular nucleus and basilar pons are unable to migrate across the floor plate and instead remain ipsilateral. These results demonstrate that Rig-1 controls the ability of both precerebellar neuron cell bodies and their axons to cross the midline.

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