Rhombomere origin plays a role in the specificity of cranial motor axon projections in the chick

Warrilow, Joanne and Guthrie, Sarah (1999) Rhombomere origin plays a role in the specificity of cranial motor axon projections in the chick. European Journal of Neuroscience, 11 (4). pp. 1403-1413. ISSN 0953-816X

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Guidance of cranial motor axons to their targets conforms to a segmental plan in the chick embryo. Trigeminal motor neurons lie within rhombomeres 2 and 3 and project via an exit point in rhombomere 2 to innervate the first branchial arch. Facial motor neurons lie within rhombomeres 4 and 5 and grow out via an exit point in rhombomere 4 to innervate the second branchial arch. We have investigated the axial level-specific matching of motor neurons and branchial arches using donor to host transplantation in avian embryos. Previous work has shown that rostrocaudal reversal of a single hindbrain segment (rhombomere 3) leads to misprojection of a contingent of trigeminal axons via the facial nerve exit point. Using the same experimental manipulation in chick embryos and quail–chick chimaeras, we have analysed the pathways of these aberrant projections. We have found that in the majority of embryos analysed from stage 19 to 31, trigeminal axons from the transplanted rhombomere projected towards second branchial arch muscles, in addition to their normal first arch muscle targets. However, from stage 32 to 36, aberrant projections to second arch-derived muscles were detected only in a small minority of embryos. These experiments show that trigeminal motor neurons show a lack of specificity in their early projection into the periphery but that inappropriate projections may be later eliminated. This suggests that segmental mechanisms intrinsic to the hindbrain specify motor neurons with respect to their eventual innervation pattern.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Neuroscience
Depositing User: Stephanie McGuire
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2017 10:41
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 10:41
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/69346
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