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Motor Axon Guidance to Eye Muscles: Slit/Robo Molecular Signals
AuthorLouw, J. Sterling
AdvisorMastick, Grant S.
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Axons must navigate during development for neurons to make connections to their target areas. Slit/Robo signals are still poorly understood for its influence on axonal navigation. Slit/Robo signaling in previous studies appears to have a repulsive function, however positive functions have been seen in other papers. The goal of my study was to determine if Slit/Robo signals have any function in guiding abducens axons to their eye muscle targets during mouse embryo development. I examined the abducens nerve in E12 mouse embryos of several mutant phenotypes involving Slit and Robo to determine their in vivo affects on axonal projections and axon-axon fasciculation. I observed distinct phenotypic alterations in Robo mutants that hindered the ability of the abducens nerve to navigate towards target destinations and maintain fasciculated as an axon bundle. I concluded that Slit/Robo signaling has an important role in fasciculation and navigation of motor axons.