Generation of the appropriate types, numbers and distribution of neurons during the development of the nervous system requires the careful coordination of proliferation, differentiation, and patterning. In this work, we analyzed the roles of a repulsive axon guidance protein, draxin, on the development of chick spinal cord dI3 interneuron. draxin mRNA and/or protein were detected in the roof plate at first and then the boundary region between the ventricular and the mantle zones in chick spinal cord and dorsal basement membrane of the chick spinal cord. Overexpression of draxin caused the decreased and delayed migration of the dI3 interneuron, the reduction of progenitor cell proliferation, and abnormal localization of some ectopic progenitor-like cells in the mantle zone of the spinal cord. Our data reveal that draxin may be involved in the proper development of the dI3 interneuron in chick spinal cord. Developmental Dynamics 239:1654–1663, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.