Patterns & Phenotypes
EphA4 is necessary for spatially selective peripheral somatosensory topography
Article first published online: 15 DEC 2009
Copyright © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Volume 239, Issue 2, pages 630–638, February 2010
How to Cite
North, H. A., Karim, A., Jacquin, M. F. and Donoghue, M. J. (2010), EphA4 is necessary for spatially selective peripheral somatosensory topography. Dev. Dyn., 239: 630–638. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.22185
- Issue published online: 22 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 15 DEC 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 NOV 2009
- NIH. Grant Number: R01 NS039979, NS049048
- Georgetown University
- trigeminal ganglion;
- axon pathfinding;
Somatosensation is the primary sensory modality employed by rodents in navigating their environments, and mystacial vibrissae on the snout are the primary conveyors of this information to the murine brain. The layout of vibrissae is spatially stereotyped and topographic connections faithfully maintain this layout throughout the neuraxis. Several factors have been shown to influence general vibrissal innervation by trigeminal neurons. Here, the role of a cell surface receptor, EphA4, in directing position-dependent vibrissal innervation is examined. EphA4 is expressed in the ventral region of the presumptive whisker pad and EphA4−/− mice lack the ventroposterior-most vibrissae. Analyses reveal that ventral trigeminal axons are abnormal, failing to innervate emerging vibrissae, and resulting in the absence of a select group of vibrissae in EphA4−/− mice. EphA4's selective effect on a subset of whiskers implicates cell-based signaling in the establishment of position-dependent connectivity and topography in the peripheral somatosensory system. Developmental Dynamics 239:630–638, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.