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Motor function depends on the formation of selective connections between sensory and motor neurons and their muscle targets. The molecular basis of the specificity inherent in this sensory-motor circuit remains unclear. We show that motor neuron pools and subsets of muscle sensory afferents can be defined by the expression of ETS genes, notably PEA3 and(More)
Cajal-Retzius cells are critical in cortical lamination, but very little is known about their origin and development. The homeodomain transcription factor Dbx1 is expressed in restricted progenitor domains of the developing pallium: the ventral pallium (VP) and the septum. Using genetic tracing and ablation experiments in mice, we show that two(More)
Two ETS transcription factors of the Pea3 subfamily are induced in subpopulations of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory and spinal motor neurons by target-derived factors. Their expression controls late aspects of neuronal differentiation such as target invasion and branching. Here, we show that the late onset of ETS gene expression is an essential(More)
The connections formed between sensory and motor neurons (MNs) play a critical role in the control of motor behavior. During development, the axons of proprioceptive sensory neurons project into the spinal cord and form both direct and indirect connections with MNs. Two ETS transcription factors, ER81 and PEA3, are expressed by developing proprioceptive(More)
The homeobox gene Hb9, like its close relative MNR2, is expressed selectively by motor neurons (MNs) in the developing vertebrate CNS. In embryonic chick spinal cord, the ectopic expression of MNR2 or Hb9 is sufficient to trigger MN differentiation and to repress the differentiation of an adjacent population of V2 interneurons. Here, we provide genetic(More)
The projection of developing axons to their targets is a crucial step in the assembly of neuronal circuits. In the spinal cord, the differentiation of specific motor neuron pools is associated with the expression of ETS class transcription factors, notably PEA3 and ER81. Their initial expression coincides with the arrival of motor axons in the vicinity of(More)
MLP is a LIM-only protein of terminally differentiated striated muscle cells, where it accumulates at actin-based structures involved in cytoarchitecture organization. To assess its role in muscle differentiation, we disrupted the MLP gene in mice. MLP (-/-) mice developed dilated cardiomyopathy with hypertrophy and heart failure after birth.(More)
The patterning of skeletal muscle is thought to depend upon signals provided by motor neurons. We show that AChR gene expression and AChR clusters are concentrated in the central region of embryonic skeletal muscle in the absence of innervation. Neurally derived Agrin is dispensable for this early phase of AChR expression, but MuSK, a receptor tyrosine(More)
Movement is the behavioral output of neuronal activity in the spinal cord. Motor neurons are grouped into motor neuron pools, the functional units innervating individual muscles. Here we establish an anatomical rabies virus-based connectivity assay in early postnatal mice. We employ it to study the connectivity scheme of premotor neurons, the neuronal(More)
Regulation of neurite outgrowth and structural plasticity may involve the expression of intrinsic determinants controlling growth competence. We have tested this concept by targeting constitutive expression of the growth-associated protein GAP-43 to the neurons of adult transgenic mice. Such mice showed striking spontaneous nerve sprouting at the(More)