Eph/Ephrin Signaling Controls Progenitor Identities In The Ventral Spinal Cord

Julien Laussu, Christophe Audouard, Anthony Kischel, Poincyane Assis-Nascimento, Nathalie Escalas, Daniel J. Liebl, Cathy Soula, Alice Davy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: In the vertebrate spinal cord, motor neurons (MN) are generated in stereotypical numbers from a pool of dedicated progenitors (pMN) whose number depends on signals that control their specification but also their proliferation and differentiation rates. Although the initial steps of pMN specification have been extensively studied, how pMN numbers are regulated over time is less well characterized. Results: Here, we show that ephrinB2 and ephrinB3 are differentially expressed in progenitor domains in the ventral spinal cord with several Eph receptors more broadly expressed. Genetic loss-of-function analyses show that ephrinB2 and ephrinB3 inversely control pMN numbers and that these changes in progenitor numbers correlate with changes in motor neuron numbers. Detailed phenotypic analyses by immunostaining and genetic interaction studies between ephrinB2 and Shh indicate that changes in pMN numbers in ephrin mutants are due to alteration in progenitor identity at late stages of development. Conclusions: Altogether our data reveal that Eph:ephrin signaling is required to control progenitor identities in the ventral spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10
JournalNeural Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 8 2017


  • Ephrins
  • Fate
  • Motor neurons
  • Mouse
  • Neural tube
  • Progenitors
  • Sonic hedgehog

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience


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