Formation of long-range axons occurs over multiple stages of morphological maturation. However, the intrinsic transcriptional mechanisms that temporally control different stages of axon projection development are unknown. Here, we addressed this question by studying the formation of mouse serotonin (5-HT) axons, the exemplar of long-range profusely arborized axon architectures. We report that LIM homeodomain factor 1b (Lmx1b)-deficient 5-HT neurons fail to generate axonal projections to the forebrain and spinal cord. Stage-specific targeting demonstrates that Lmx1b is required at successive stages to control 5-HT axon primary outgrowth, selective routing, and terminal arborization. We show a Lmx1b→Pet1 regulatory cascade is temporally required for 5-HT arborization and upregulation of the 5-HT axon arborization gene, Protocadherin-alphac2, during postnatal development of forebrain 5-HT axons. Our findings identify a temporal regulatory mechanism in which a single continuously expressed transcription factor functions at successive stages to orchestrate the progressive development of long-range axon architectures enabling expansive neuromodulation.
- Evan S Deneris
- Evan S Deneris
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Animal experimentation: All animal procedures used in this study were in strict accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. The protocol was approved by the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (Animal Welfare Assurance Number A3145-01, protocol #: 2014-0044).
- Anne E West, Duke University School of Medicine, United States
© 2019, Donovan et al.
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