EphB receptors influence growth of ephrin-B1-positive statoacoustic nerve fibers


: Dr Lynne M. Bianchi, as above.
E-mail: lynne.bianchi@oberlin.edu


The Eph family of receptors and ligands has been implicated in a variety of developmental processes, including the provision of inhibitory guidance cues to developing nerve fibers. A unique property of the B class of receptors is that they are able to phosphorylate ephrin-B ligands, allowing for bi-directional, or reverse signalling. While most of the studies to date have focused on central nerve fibers, little is known about the role of Eph molecules in guiding nerve fibers of the peripheral nervous system. In the present study, ephrin-B1 was found to be highly expressed on developing peripheral nerve fibers including auditory and vestibular (statoacoustic) and dorsal root ganglion nerve fibers. In vitro assays revealed that EphB-Fc receptors inhibited further growth of statoacoustic nerve fibers. In contrast, EphA7-Fc and ephrin-B2-Fc did not prevent further growth of SAG. Together, these results suggest a role for EphB receptors in providing guidance signals to ephrin-B1-positive SAG nerve fibers.