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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 
 
 

Graded expression of EphA3 in the retina and ephrin-A2 in the superior colliculus during initial development of coarse topography in the wallaby retinocollicular projection.

We describe the expression of EphA3 and EphA7 receptors and ephrin-A2 ligand in the retina and the superior colliculus during the development of the retinocollicular projection in the marsupial wallaby (Macropus eugenii), using immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. EphA3 in the retina was in a striking, low central to high peripheral gradient, superimposed on which was a high temporal to low nasal level of expression. This distribution was evident from postnatal day 30, when axons are growing into the colliculus and forming a coarsely organized topographic projection, to postnatal day 65, when axons have arborized in their correct retinotopic positions. EphA7 showed a shallow centroperipheral gradient with no nasotemporal differences in expression. In the superior colliculus no rostrocaudal differences in distribution were detected for either of these receptors. Ephrin-A2 was distributed in a gradient increasing from the rostral to the caudal pole in the superficial layers of the superior colliculus only up to postnatal day 30. Ephrin-A2 was evenly distributed in the retina throughout development of the projection. Expression of EphA3 in the retina increased, while the expression of ephrin-A2 in the colliculus was downregulated over time. The graded expression of EphA3 and ephrin-A2 early in the development of the projection suggests that they play a role in establishment of coarse topography of retinal axons along the rostrocaudal axis of the superior colliculus. However, the gradients were not complementary, meaning that EphA3 alone cannot mediate the repulsive interactions with ephrin-A2 that have been postulated to underlie formation of the topographic map.[1]

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