Elimination of Aberrant DRG Circuitries in Sema3A Mutant Mice Leads to Extensive Neuronal Deficits

Ayal Ben-Zvi, Sahar Sweetat, Oded Behar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Axon guidance molecules determine the pattern of neuronal circuits. Accuracy of the process is ensured by unknown mechanisms that correct early guidance errors. Since the time frame of error correction in Sema3A null mice partly overlaps with the period of naturally occurring cell death in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) development, we tested the hypothesis that apoptosis of misguided neurons enables error correction. We crossed BAX null mice, in which DRG apoptosis is blocked, with Sema3A null mice to induce errors. Analyses of these double-null mouse embryos showed that the elimination of abnormal projections is not blocked in the absence of BAX. Surprisingly however, there are fewer surviving neurons in Sema3A null or Sema3A/BAX double-null newborn mice than in wild-type mice. These results suggest that guidance errors are corrected by a BAX-independent cell death mechanism. Thus, aberrant axonal guidance may lead to reductions in neuronal numbers to suboptimal levels, perhaps increasing the likelihood of neuropathological consequences later in life.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere70085
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
StatePublished - 26 Jul 2013


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