Crossing the Midline: Locomotor Neuronal Circuitry Formation
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Networks at various levels of the nervous system coordinate different motor patterns such as respiration, eye or hand movements and locomotion. Intrinsic rhythm-generating networks that are located in the spinal cord generate motor behaviors that underlie locomotion in vertebrates. These networks give a continuous and measurable coordinated rhythmic motor output and are referred to as locomotor central pattern generators (CPGs). Characterization of the mammalian locomotor CPG and its molecular control is depending on the identification of participating neurons and neuronal populations. In this thesis I present work where we have studied the significance of subpopulations of neurons in the formation and function of the left-right circuitry. In summary, we show that the axon guidance receptor DCC has a central role in the formation of spinal neuronal circuitry underlying left-right coordination, and that both Netrin-1 and DCC are required for normal function of the locomotor CPG. Commissural interneurons (CINs), which send their axons across the ventral midline in the spinal cord, play a critical role in left–right coordination during locomotion. A complete loss of commissural axons in the spinal cord, as seen in the Robo3 null mutant mouse, resulted in uncoordinated fictional locomotor activity. Removing CIN connections from either dorsal or ventral neuronal populations led to a shift from alternation to strict synchronous locomotor activity. Inhibitory dI6 CIN have been suggested as promising candidate neurons in coordinating bilateral alternation circuitry. We have identified that Dmrt3, expressed in inhibitory dI6 CINs, is a crucial component for the normal development of coordinated locomotor movements in both horses and mice. We have also concluded that the prominent hopping phenotype seen in hop/hop mice is a result of abnormal developmental processes including induction from the notochord and Shh signaling. Together, these findings increase our knowledge about the flexibility in neuronal circuit development and further confirm the role of dI6 neurons in locomotor circuits.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. , 43 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 825
CPG, CIN, neuronal network, locomotion, left-right alternation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-182692ISBN: 978-91-554-8500-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-182692DiVA: diva2:560553
2012-12-01, B22 BMC, Husargatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Klar, Avihu, Professor
Kullander, Klas, Professor
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