Multiple Eph receptors and B-class ephrins regulate midline crossing of corpus callosum fibers in the developing mouse forebrain

Shannon W. Mendes, Mark Henkemeyer, Daniel J. Liebl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Agenesis of the corpus callosum (CC) is a rare birth defect that occurs in isolated conditions and in combination with other developmental cerebral abnormalities. Recent identification of families of growth and guidance molecules has generated interest in the mechanisms that regulate callosal growth. One family, ephrins and Eph receptors, has been implicated in mediating midline pathfinding decisions; however, the complexity of these interactions has yet to be unraveled. Our studies shed light on which B-class ephrins and Eph receptors function to regulate CC midline growth and how these molecules interact with important guideposts during development. We show that multiple Eph receptors (B1, B2, B3, and A4) and B-class ephrins (B1, B2, and B3) are present and function in developing forebrain callosal fibers based on both spatial and temporal expression patterns and analysis of gene-targeted knock-out mice. Defects are most pronounced in the combination double knock-out mice, suggesting that compensatory mechanisms exist for several of these family members. Furthermore, these CC defects range from mild hypoplasia to complete agenesis and Probst's bundle formation. Further analysis revealed that Probst's bundle formation may reflect aberrant glial formations and/or altered sensitivity of CC axons to other guidance cues. Our results support a significant role for ephrins and Eph receptors in CC development and may provide insight to possible mechanisms involved in axon midline crossing and human disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)882-892
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 18 2006


  • Corpus callosum
  • Eph receptors
  • Ephrins
  • Glial wedge
  • Midline guidance
  • Mouse development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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