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Dev Biol. 2016 Sep 1;417(1):40-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.07.004. Epub 2016 Jul 6.

The atypical cadherin Celsr1 functions non-cell autonomously to block rostral migration of facial branchiomotor neurons in mice.

Author information

Division of Biological Sciences, and Bond Life Sciences Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.
Institute of Neuroscience, Developmental Neurobiology, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.
Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.
INSERM UMR 1091, University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, F-06108 Nice, France.
Department of Biology, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.
Division of Biological Sciences, and Bond Life Sciences Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA. Electronic address:


The caudal migration of facial branchiomotor (FBM) neurons from rhombomere (r) 4 to r6 in the hindbrain is an excellent model to study neuronal migration mechanisms. Although several Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) components are required for FBM neuron migration, only Celsr1, an atypical cadherin, regulates the direction of migration in mice. In Celsr1 mutants, a subset of FBM neurons migrates rostrally instead of caudally. Interestingly, Celsr1 is not expressed in the migrating FBM neurons, but rather in the adjacent floor plate and adjoining ventricular zone. To evaluate the contribution of different expression domains to neuronal migration, we conditionally inactivated Celsr1 in specific cell types. Intriguingly, inactivation of Celsr1 in the ventricular zone of r3-r5, but not in the floor plate, leads to rostral migration of FBM neurons, greatly resembling the migration defect of Celsr1 mutants. Dye fill experiments indicate that the rostrally-migrated FBM neurons in Celsr1 mutants originate from the anterior margin of r4. These data suggest strongly that Celsr1 ensures that FBM neurons migrate caudally by suppressing molecular cues in the rostral hindbrain that can attract FBM neurons.


Celsr1; Facial branchiomotor neuron; Hindbrain; Neuronal migration

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