Cranial expression of class 3 secreted semaphorins and their neuropilin receptors



The semaphorin family of chemorepellents and their receptors the neuropilins are implicated in a variety of cellular processes, including axon guidance and cell migration. Semaphorins may bind more than one neuropilin or a heterodimer of both, thus a detailed knowledge of their expression patterns may reveal possible cases of redundancy or mutual antagonism. To assess their involvement in cranial development, we cloned fragments of the chick orthologues of Sema3B and Sema3F. We then carried out mRNA in situ hybridisation of all six class 3 semaphorins and both neuropilins in the embryonic chick head. We present evidence for spatiotemporal regulation of these molecules in the brainstem and developing head, including the eye, ear, and branchial arches. These expression patterns provide a basis for functional analysis of semaphorins and neuropilins in the development of axon projections and the morphogenesis of cranial structures. Developmental Dynamics 228:726–733, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.