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Nat Neurosci. 2007 Sep;10(9):1151-9. Epub 2007 Aug 26.

OL-Protocadherin is essential for growth of striatal axons and thalamocortical projections.

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RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, 2-2-3 Minatojima-Minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0047, Japan.


The ventral telencephalon in the embryonic brain is thought to provide guidance cues for navigation of thalamocortical axons, but the mechanisms involved remain largely elusive. OL-protocadherin (OL-pc), a member of the cadherin superfamily, is highly expressed by striatal neurons in the developing ventral telencephalon. Here we show that OL-pc-deficient (Pcdh10(-/-)) mice have defects in axon pathways through the ventral telencephalon; for example, thalamocortical and corticothalamic projections cannot cross the ventral telencephalon. In the ventral telencephalon, striatal axons fail to grow out, and, concomitantly, the caudal portion of the globus pallidus and the associated 'corridor' thought to be important for thalamocortical fiber navigation do not form. The inability of the striatum to extend axons is also observed in vitro. These results show that OL-pc is essential for both elongation of striatal axons and patterning of the putative guidance cues for thalamocortical projections.

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