Axon navigation depends on the interactions between guidance molecules along the trajectory and specific receptors on the growth cone. However, our in vitro and in vivo studies on the role of Endoglycan demonstrate that in addition to specific guidance cue – receptor interactions, axon guidance depends on fine-tuning of cell-cell adhesion. Endoglycan, a sialomucin, plays a role in axon guidance in the central nervous system of chicken embryos, but it is neither an axon guidance cue nor a receptor. Rather Endoglycan acts as a negative regulator of molecular interactions based on evidence from in vitro experiments demonstrating reduced adhesion of growth cones . In the absence of Endoglycan, commissural axons fail to properly navigate the midline of the spinal cord. Taken together, our in vivo and in vitro results support the hypothesis that Endoglycan acts as a negative regulator of cell-cell adhesion, in commissural axon guidance.
All data generated and analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Esther T Stoeckli
- Esther T Stoeckli
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Carol A Mason, Columbia University, United States
© 2021, Baeriswyl et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients’ brains contain collagens and are embedded extracellularly. Several collagens have been proposed to influence Aβ aggregate formation, yet their role in clearance is unknown. To investigate the potential role of collagens in forming and clearance of extracellular aggregates in vivo, we created a transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans strain that expresses and secretes human Aβ1-42. This secreted Aβ forms aggregates in two distinct places within the extracellular matrix. In a screen for extracellular human Aβ aggregation regulators, we identified different collagens to ameliorate or potentiate Aβ aggregation. We show that a disintegrin and metalloprotease a disintegrin and metalloprotease 2 (ADM-2), an ortholog of ADAM9, reduces the load of extracellular Aβ aggregates. ADM-2 is required and sufficient to remove the extracellular Aβ aggregates. Thus, we provide in vivo evidence of collagens essential for aggregate formation and metalloprotease participating in extracellular Aβ aggregate removal.
The cerebellar granule cell layer has inspired numerous theoretical models of neural representations that support learned behaviors, beginning with the work of Marr and Albus. In these models, granule cells form a sparse, combinatorial encoding of diverse sensorimotor inputs. Such sparse representations are optimal for learning to discriminate random stimuli. However, recent observations of dense, low-dimensional activity across granule cells have called into question the role of sparse coding in these neurons. Here, we generalize theories of cerebellar learning to determine the optimal granule cell representation for tasks beyond random stimulus discrimination, including continuous input-output transformations as required for smooth motor control. We show that for such tasks, the optimal granule cell representation is substantially denser than predicted by classical theories. Our results provide a general theory of learning in cerebellum-like systems and suggest that optimal cerebellar representations are task-dependent.