Distribution of EphA5 receptor protein in the developing and adult mouse nervous system

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The EphA5 receptor tyrosine kinase plays key roles in axon guidance during development. However, the presence of EphA5 protein in the nervous system has not been fully characterized. To examine EphA5 localization better, mutant mice, in which the EphA5 cytoplasmic domain was replaced with β-galactosidase, were analyzed for both temporal and regional changes in the distribution of EphA5 protein in the developing and adult nervous system. During embryonic development, high levels of EphA5 protein were found in the retina, olfactory bulb, cerebral neocortex, hippocampus, pretectum, tectum, cranial nerve nuclei, and spinal cord. Variations in intensity were observed as development proceeded. Staining of pretectal nuclei, tectal nuclei, and other areas of the mesencephalon became more diffuse after maturity, whereas the cerebral neocortex gained more robust intensity. In the adult, receptor protein continued to be detected in many areas including the olfactory nuclei, neocortex, piriform cortex, induseum griseum, hippocampus, thalamus, amygdala, hypothalamus, and septum. In addition, EphA5 protein was found in the claustrum, stria terminalis, barrel cortex, and striatal patches, and along discrete axon tracts within the corpus callosum of the adult. We conclude that EphA5 function is not limited to the developing mouse brain and may play a role in synaptic plasticity in the adult. J. Comp. Neurol. 514:310–328, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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