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Callosal projections from primary somatosensory cortex (S1) are key for processing somatosensory inputs and integrating sensory-motor information. How the callosal innervation pattern in S1 is formed during early postnatal development is not clear. We found that the normal termination pattern of these callosal projections is disrupted in cortex specific NMDAR mutants. Rather than projecting selectively to the primary/secondary somatosensory cortex (S1/S2) border, axons were uniformly distributed throughout S1. In addition, the density of this projection increased over postnatal life until the mice died by P30. By combining genetic and antibody-mediated loss of function, we demonstrated that it is GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors in target S1 that mediate this guidance phenotype, thus playing a central role in interhemispheric connectivity. Furthermore, we found that this function of NMDA receptors in callosal circuit formation is independent of ion channel function and works with the EPHRIN-B/EPHB system. Thus, NMDAR in target S1 cortex regulates the formation callosal circuits perhaps by modulating EPH-dependent repulsion. © 2021, Zhou et al.


Jing Zhou, Yong Lin, Trung Huynh, Hirofumi Noguchi, Jeffrey O Bush, Samuel J Pleasure. NMDA receptors control development of somatosensory callosal axonal projections. eLife. 2021 Mar 04;10

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PMID: 33661095

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