Role of Axon Guidance Molecules


Research center

17 rue Moreau
75012 Paris
José-Alain Sahel


Université Pierre et Marie Curie
Université Pierre et Marie Curie


UMRS 968
Labex Lifesenses


Visual system


Renier N., Dominici C., Erzurumlu ,R.S., Kratochwill, C.F., Rijli, F.M., Gaspar, P. and Chédotal A. (2017) A mutant with bilateral whisker to barrel inputs unveils somatosensory mapping rules in the cerebral cortex. eLife 6. pii: e23494.

Dominici C., Moreno-Bravo, J.A., Roig Puiggros, S., Rappeneau, Q., Rama, N., Vieugue, P., Bernet, A., Mehlen, P.* and Chédotal A*. (2017) Floor plate-derived Netrin-1 is dispensable for commissural axon guidance. Nature 544:350-354. * corresponding authors.

Belle, M., Godefroy D., Couly G., Malone, S.A., Collier F., Giacobini, P. and Chédotal A. (2017) Tridimensional visualization and analysis of early human development. Cell,169:161-173.

Rama, N., Dubrac, A., Mathivet, T., Ni-Charthaigh, R.A., Genet, G., Cristofaro, B., Pibouin-Fragner, L., Ma, L., Eichmann, A. and Chédotal, A. (2015) Slit2 signaling through Robo1 and Robo2 is required for retinal neovascularization. Nature Medicine, 21:483-491.

Zelina, P., Blockus, H., Zagar, Y., Peres, A., Friocourt, F., Wu, Z. H., Rama, N., Fouquet, C., Hohenester, E., Tessier-Lavigne, M., Schweitzer, J., Crollius, H. R. and Chédotal, A. (2014) Signaling Switch of the Axon Guidance Receptor Robo3 during Vertebrate Evolution. Neuron 84: 1258-1272.


Fields of research

Neurogenetics / neurodevelopment

Research Theme

Nervous systems are composed of a network of synaptic connections among excitable cells. This network develops as axons extend from presynaptic neurons and grow often long distances to reach their correct postsynaptic partners. Neuronal migration and myelination are also key processes for the formation and stabilisation of neuronal connections. For years, neurobiologists have tried to uncover the mechanisms controling axon guidance. It was found that these are highly conserved between neurons and during evolution. It was also shown that axonal connections are plastic and can be modified during normal physiological processes and in pathological conditions.

 There is mounting evidence suggesting that axon guidance errors occuring during development, are responsible for neurological deficits in particular in the visual system. One example comes from a recentwork that has shown that human patients suffering of a rare syndrome named HGPPS (horizontal gaze palsy with progressive scoliosis) have an atrophied abducens nucleus (VI), are unable to move their eyes laterally and develop a strong scoliosis. All HGPPS patients bear mutations in the ROBO3 gene. One of our goal is is to understand the function of Robo3 in the oculomotor system.

 The discovery of neural stem cells in the adult brain was a major finding of the recent years. In many models of lesion of the nervous system, neural stem cells can be derived from their usual migration pathway to integrate the injured region. We are characterizing new molecules controlling neural stem cell development and physiology and determine their ability to promote the regenerative potential of neural on stem cells. These studies could lead to the development of new therapeutic tools to stimulate stem cell migration and differentiation in the visual system.

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