Retinal ganglion cell axon sorting at the optic chiasm requires dystroglycan

Reena Clements, Kevin M. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In the developing visual system, retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons project from the retina to several distal retinorecipient regions in the brain. Several molecules have been implicated in guiding RGC axons in vivo, but the role of extracellular matrix molecules in this process remains poorly understood. Dystroglycan is a laminin-binding transmembrane protein important for formation and maintenance of the extracellular matrix and basement membranes and has previously been implicated in axon guidance in the developing spinal cord. Using two genetic models of functional dystroglycan loss, we show that dystroglycan is necessary for correct sorting of contralateral and ipsilateral RGC axons at the optic chiasm. Mis-sorted axons still target retinorecipient brain regions and persist in adult mice, even after axon pruning is complete. Our results highlight the importance of the extracellular matrix for axon sorting at an intermediate choice point in the developing visual circuit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-219
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 15 2018


  • Axon
  • Basement membrane
  • Dystroglycan
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Optic chiasm
  • Retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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