F-spondin is required for accurate pathfinding of commissural axons at the floor plate

Tal Burstyn-Cohen, Vered Tzarfaty, Ayala Frumkin, Yael Feinstein, Esther Stoeckli, Avihu Klar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


The commissural axons project toward and across the floor plate. They then turn into the longitudinal axis, extending along the contralateral side of the floor plate. F-spondin, a protein produced and secreted by the floor plate, promotes adhesion and neurite extension of commissural neurons in vitro. Injection of purified F-spondin protein into the lumen of the spinal cord of chicken embryos in ovo resulted in longitudinal turning of commissural axons before reaching the floor plate, whereas neutralizing antibody (Ab) injections caused lateral turning at the contralateral floor plate boundary. These combined in vitro and in vivo results suggest that F- spondin is required to prevent the lateral drifting of the commissural axons after having crossed the floor plate.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)233-246
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Tom Jessell, in whose laboratory the initial research, including the cloning of the chick F-spondin, was performed and who provided constructive suggestions and insights; Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Corey Goodman for sharing their results prior to publication and for suggestions and insights; Chaya Kalcheim and Joel Yisraeli for comments on the manuscript; Chris Cox for sequencing the chick F-spondin cDNA; and Kan Yang for constructing the pR8 plasmid. This work was supported by grants to A. K. from the Israel Cancer Research Foundation, the Israel–USA Binational Foundation, the Israel Science Foundation, and Cambridge Neuroscience. E. S. is supported by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation.


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