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Memic, Fatima
Publications (3 of 3) Show all publications
Memic, F. (2012). Crossing the Midline: Locomotor Neuronal Circuitry Formation. (Doctoral dissertation). Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Crossing the Midline: Locomotor Neuronal Circuitry Formation
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Networks at various levels of the nervous system coordinate different motor patterns such as respiration, eye or hand movements and locomotion. Intrinsic rhythm-generating networks that are located in the spinal cord generate motor behaviors that underlie locomotion in vertebrates. These networks give a continuous and measurable coordinated rhythmic motor output and are referred to as locomotor central pattern generators (CPGs). Characterization of the mammalian locomotor CPG and its molecular control is depending on the identification of participating neurons and neuronal populations. In this thesis I present work where we have studied the significance of subpopulations of neurons in the formation and function of the left-right circuitry. In summary, we show that the axon guidance receptor DCC has a central role in the formation of spinal neuronal circuitry underlying left-right coordination, and that both Netrin-1 and DCC are required for normal function of the locomotor CPG. Commissural interneurons (CINs), which send their axons across the ventral midline in the spinal cord, play a critical role in left–right coordination during locomotion. A complete loss of commissural axons in the spinal cord, as seen in the Robo3 null mutant mouse, resulted in uncoordinated fictional locomotor activity. Removing CIN connections from either dorsal or ventral neuronal populations led to a shift from alternation to strict synchronous locomotor activity. Inhibitory dI6 CIN have been suggested as promising candidate neurons in coordinating bilateral alternation circuitry. We have identified that Dmrt3, expressed in inhibitory dI6 CINs, is a crucial component for the normal development of coordinated locomotor movements in both horses and mice. We have also concluded that the prominent hopping phenotype seen in hop/hop mice is a result of abnormal developmental processes including induction from the notochord and Shh signaling. Together, these findings increase our knowledge about the flexibility in neuronal circuit development and further confirm the role of dI6 neurons in locomotor circuits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. p. 43
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 825
CPG, CIN, neuronal network, locomotion, left-right alternation
National Category
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-182692 (URN)978-91-554-8500-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-12-01, B22 BMC, Husargatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Available from: 2012-11-08 Created: 2012-10-15 Last updated: 2018-01-12
Rabe Bernhardt, N., Memic, F., Gezelius, H., Thiebes, A.-L., Vallstedt, A. & Kullander, K. (2012). DCC mediated axon guidance of spinal interneurons is essential for normal locomotor central pattern generator function. Developmental Biology, 366(2), 279-289
Open this publication in new window or tab >>DCC mediated axon guidance of spinal interneurons is essential for normal locomotor central pattern generator function
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2012 (English)In: Developmental Biology, ISSN 0012-1606, E-ISSN 1095-564X, Vol. 366, no 2, p. 279-289Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Coordinated limb rhythmic movements take place through organized signaling in local spinal cord neuronal networks. The establishment of these circuitries during development is dependent on the correct guidance of axons to their targets. It has previously been shown that the well-known axon guidance molecule netrin-1 is required for configuring the circuitry that provides left-right alternating coordination in fictive locomotion. The attraction of commissural axons to the midline in response to netrin-1 has been shown to involve the netrin-1 receptor DCC (deleted in Colorectal Cancer). However, the role of DCC for the establishment of CPG coordination has not yet been resolved. We show that mice carrying a null mutation of DCC displayed an uncoordinated left-right activity during fictive locomotion accompanied by a loss of interneuronal subpopulations originating from commissural progenitors. Thus, DCC plays a crucial role in the formation of spinal neuronal circuitry coordinating left-right activities. Together with the previously published results from netrin-1 deficient mice, the data presented in this study suggest a role for the most ventral originating V3 interneurons in synchronous activities over the midline. Further, it provides evidence that axon crossing in the spinal cord is more intricately controlled than in previously suggested models of DCC-netrin-1 interaction.

Neuronal network, Commissural interneuron, V3 subtype, Development, Axon guidance
National Category
Research subject
Developmental Neurosciences
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-112468 (URN)10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.03.017 (DOI)000304788600016 ()
Manuscript original title: Netrin-1-independent DCC mediated axonguidance of V3 interneurons forms a CPG synchrony circuitAvailable from: 2010-01-13 Created: 2010-01-13 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
Andersson, L. S., Larhammar, M., Memic, F., Wootz, H., Schwochow, D., Rubin, C.-J., . . . Kullander, K. (2012). Mutations in DMRT3 affect locomotion in horses and spinal circuit function in mice. Nature, 488(7413), 642-646
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mutations in DMRT3 affect locomotion in horses and spinal circuit function in mice
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2012 (English)In: Nature, ISSN 0028-0836, E-ISSN 1476-4687, Vol. 488, no 7413, p. 642-646Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Locomotion in mammals relies on a central pattern-generating circuitry of spinal interneurons established during development that coordinates limb movement(1). These networks produce left-right alternation of limbs as well as coordinated activation of flexor and extensor muscles(2). Here we show that a premature stop codon in the DMRT3 gene has a major effect on the pattern of locomotion in horses. The mutation is permissive for the ability to perform alternate gaits and has a favourable effect on harness racing performance. Examination of wild-type and Dmrt3-null mice demonstrates that Dmrt3 is expressed in the dI6 subdivision of spinal cord neurons, takes part in neuronal specification within this subdivision, and is critical for the normal development of a coordinated locomotor network controlling limb movements. Our discovery positions Dmrt3 in a pivotal role for configuring the spinal circuits controlling stride in vertebrates. The DMRT3 mutation has had a major effect on the diversification of the domestic horse, as the altered gait characteristics of a number of breeds apparently require this mutation.

National Category
Biological Sciences
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-181404 (URN)10.1038/nature11399 (DOI)000308095100053 ()
Available from: 2012-09-28 Created: 2012-09-24 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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