Anterior-Posterior Guidance of Commissural Axons by Wnt-Frizzled Signaling

Anna I. Lyuksyutova, Chin Chun Lu, Nancy Milanesio, Leslie A. King, Nini Guo, Yanshu Wang, Jeremy Nathans, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Yimin Zou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

439 Scopus citations


Commissural neurons in the mammalian dorsal spinal cord send axons ventrally toward the floor plate, where they cross the midline and turn anteriorly toward the brain; a gradient of chemoattractant(s) inside the spinal cord controls this turning. In rodents, several Wnt proteins stimulate the extension of commissural axons after midline crossing (postcrossing). We found that Wnt4 messenger RNA is expressed in a decreasing anterior-to-posterior gradient in the floor plate, and that a directed source of Wnt4 protein attracted postcrossing commissural axons. Commissural axons in mice lacking the Wnt receptor Frizzled3 displayed anterior-posterior guidance defects after midline crossing. Thus, Wnt-Frizzled signaling guides commissural axons along the anterior-posterior axis of the spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1984-1988
Number of pages5
Issue number5652
StatePublished - Dec 12 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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