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Neuron. 1997 Sep;19(3):519-30.

Disruption of semaphorin III/D gene causes severe abnormality in peripheral nerve projection.

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Laboratory of Neurobiology and Behavioral Genetics, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Aichi, Japan.


The molecules of the collapsin/semaphorin gene family have been thought to play an essential role in axon guidance during development. Semaphorin III/D is a member of this family, has been shown to repel dorsal root ganglion (DRG) axons in vitro, and has been implicated in the patterning of sensory afferents in the spinal cord. Although semaphorin III/D mRNA is expressed in a wide variety of neural and nonneural tissues in vivo, the role played by semaphorin III/D in regions other than the spinal cord is not known. Here, we show that mice homozygous for a targeted mutation in semaphorin III/D show severe abnormality in peripheral nerve projection. This abnormality is seen in the trigeminal, facial, vagus, accessory, and glossopharyngeal nerves but not in the oculomotor nerve. These results suggest that semaphorin III/D functions as a selective repellent in vivo.

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