Journal Article Contribution of the Runx1 transcription factor to axonal pathfinding and muscle innervation by hypoglossal motoneurons

Yoshikawa, Masaaki  ,  Hirabayashi, Mizuki  ,  Ito, Ryota  ,  Ozaki, Shigeru  ,  Aizawa, Shin  ,  Masuda, Tomoyuki  ,  Senzaki, Kouji  ,  Shiga, Takashi

75 ( 11 )  , pp.1295 - 1314 , 2015-11 , Wiley
The runt-related transcription factor Runx1 contributes to cell type specification and axonal targeting projections of the nociceptive dorsal root ganglion neurons. Runx1 is also expressed in the central nervous system, but little is known of its functions in brain development. At mouse embryonic day (E) 17.5, Runx1-positive neurons were detected in the ventrocaudal subdivision of the hypoglossal nucleus. Runx1-positive neurons lacked calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) expression, whereas Runx1-negative neurons expressed CGRP. Expression of CGRP was not changed in Runx1-deficient mice at E17.5, suggesting that Runx1 alone does not suppress CGRP expression. Hypoglossal axon projections to the intrinsic vertical (V) and transverse (T) tongue muscles were sparser in Runx1-deficient mice at E17.5 compared to age-matched wild-type littermates. Concomitantly, vesicular acetylcholine transporter-positive axon terminals and acetylcholine receptor clusters were less dense in the V and T tongue muscles of Runx1-deficient mice. These abnormalities in axonal projection were not caused by a reduction in the total number hypoglossal neurons, failed synaptogenesis, or tongue muscles deficits. Our results implicate Runx1 in the targeting of ventrocaudal hypoglossal axons to specific tongue muscles. However, Runx1 deficiency did not alter neuronal survival or the expression of multiple motoneuron markers as in other neuronal populations. Thus, Runx1 appears to have distinct developmental functions in different brain regions.

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