A chemoattractant role for NT-3 in proprioceptive axon guidance

Bariş Genç, P. Hande Özdinler, April E. Mendoza, Reha S. Erzurumlu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is required for proprioceptive neuron survival. Deletion of the proapoptotic gene Bax in NT-3 knockout mice rescues these neurons and allows for examination of their axon growth in the absence of NT-3 signaling. TrkC-positive peripheral and central axons from dorsal root ganglia follow proper trajectories and arrive in close proximity to their targets but fail to innervate them. Peripherally, muscle spindles are absent and TrkC-positive axons do not enter their target muscles. Centrally, proprioceptive axons branch in ectopic regions of the spinal cord, even crossing the midline. In vitro assays reveal chemoattractant effects of NT-3 on dorsal root ganglion axons. Our results show that survival factor NT-3 acts as a short-distance axon guidance molecule for muscle sensory afferents as they approach their proper targets. Copyright:

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPLoS biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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