Erbb2 regulates neuromuscular synapse formation and is essential for muscle spindle development.

Abstract

Neuregulins and their Erbb receptors have been implicated in neuromuscular synapse formation by regulating gene expression in subsynaptic nuclei. To analyze the function of Erbb2 in this process, we have inactivated the Erbb2 gene in developing muscle fibers by Cre/Lox-mediated gene ablation. Neuromuscular synapses form in the mutant mice, but the synapses are less efficient and contain reduced levels of acetylcholine receptors. Surprisingly, the mutant mice also show proprioceptive defects caused by abnormal muscle spindle development. Sensory Ia afferent neurons establish initial contact with Erbb2-deficient myotubes. However, functional spindles never develop. Taken together, our data suggest that Erbb2 signaling regulates the formation of both neuromuscular synapses and muscle spindles.

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@article{Leu2003Erbb2RN, title={Erbb2 regulates neuromuscular synapse formation and is essential for muscle spindle development.}, author={Marco P. Leu and Elena Bellmunt and Martin Schwander and Isabel Fari{\~n}as and Hans Rudolf Brenner and Ulrich Mueller}, journal={Development}, year={2003}, volume={130 11}, pages={2291-301} }