Neuronal connections are arranged topographically such that the spatial organization of neurons is preserved by their termini in the targets. During the development of topographic projections, axons initially explore areas much wider than the final targets, and mistargeted axons are pruned later. The molecules regulating these processes are not known. We report here that the ligands of the Eph family tyrosine kinase receptors may regulate both the initial outgrowth and the subsequent pruning of axons. In the presence of ephrins, the outgrowth and branching of the receptor-positive hippocampal axons are enhanced. However, these axons are induced later to degenerate. These observations suggest that the ephrins and their receptors may regulate topographic map formation by stimulating axonal arborization and by pruning mistargeted axons.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Mar 30 1999|
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