Expression patterns of Slit and Robo family members in adult mouse spinal cord and peripheral nervous system.
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The secreted glycoproteins, Slit1-3, are classic axon guidance molecules that act as repulsive cues through their well characterised receptors Robo1-2 to allow precise axon pathfinding and neuronal migration. The expression patterns of Slit1-3 and Robo1-2 have been most characterized in the rodent developing nervous system and the adult brain, but little is known about their expression patterns in the adult rodent peripheral nervous system. Here, we report a detailed expression analysis of Slit1-3 and Robo1-2 in the adult mouse sciatic nerve as well as their expression in the nerve cell bodies within the ventral spinal cord (motor neurons) and dorsal root ganglion (sensory neurons). Our results show that, in the adult mouse peripheral nervous system, Slit1-3 and Robo1-2 are expressed in the cell bodies and axons of both motor and sensory neurons. While Slit1 and Robo2 are only expressed in peripheral axons and their cell bodies, Slit2, Slit3 and Robo1 are also expressed in satellite cells of the dorsal root ganglion, Schwann cells and fibroblasts of peripheral nerves. In addition to these expression patterns, we also demonstrate the expression of Robo1 in blood vessels of the peripheral nerves. Our work gives important new data on the expression patterns of Slit and Robo family members within the peripheral nervous system that may relate both to nerve homeostasis and the reaction of the peripheral nerves to injury.
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