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J Neurosci. 2010 Nov 24;30(47):16053-64. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4508-10.2010.

Wnt/planar cell polarity signaling controls the anterior-posterior organization of monoaminergic axons in the brainstem.

Author information

1
University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.

Abstract

Monoaminergic neurons [serotonergic (5-HT) and dopaminergic (mdDA)] in the brainstem project axons along the anterior-posterior axis. Despite their important physiological functions and implication in disease, the molecular mechanisms that dictate the formation of these projections along the anterior-posterior axis remain unknown. Here we reveal a novel requirement for Wnt/planar cell polarity signaling in the anterior-posterior organization of the monoaminergic system. We find that 5-HT and mdDA axons express the core planar cell polarity components Frizzled3, Celsr3, and Vangl2. In addition, monoaminergic projections show anterior-posterior guidance defects in Frizzled3, Celsr3, and Vangl2 mutant mice. The only known ligands for planar cell polarity signaling are Wnt proteins. In culture, Wnt5a attracts 5-HT but repels mdDA axons, and Wnt7b attracts mdDA axons. However, mdDA axons from Frizzled3 mutant mice are unresponsive to Wnt5a and Wnt7b. Both Wnts are expressed in gradients along the anterior-posterior axis, consistent with their role as directional cues. Finally, Wnt5a mutants show transient anterior-posterior guidance defects in mdDA projections. Furthermore, we observe during development that the cell bodies of migrating descending 5-HT neurons eventually reorient along the direction of their axons. In Frizzled3 mutants, many 5-HT and mdDA neuron cell bodies are oriented abnormally along the direction of their aberrant axon projections. Overall, our data suggest that Wnt/planar cell polarity signaling may be a global anterior-posterior guidance mechanism that controls axonal and cellular organization beyond the spinal cord.

PMID:
21106844
PMCID:
PMC3073573
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4508-10.2010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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