Ephrin-B2 and EphB1 mediate retinal axon divergence at the optic chiasm

S. E. Williams, F. Mann, Lynda Erskine, T. Sakurai, S. Wei, D. J. Rossi, N. W. Gale, C. Holt, C. A. Mason, M. Henkemeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

276 Citations (Scopus)


In animals with binocular vision, retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons either cross or avoid the midline at the optic chiasm. Here, we show that ephrin-Bs in the chiasm region direct the divergence of retinal axons through the selective repulsion of a subset of RGCs that express EphB1. Ephrin-B2 is expressed at the mouse chiasm midline as the ipsilateral projection is generated and is selectively inhibitory to axons from ventrotemporal (VT) retina, where ipsilaterally projecting RGCs reside. Moreover, blocking ephrin-B2 function in vitro rescues the inhibitory effect of chiasm cells and eliminates the ipsilateral projection in the semiintact mouse visual system. A receptor for ephrin-B2, EphB1, is found exclusively in regions of retina that give rise to the ipsilateral projection. EphEll null mice exhibit a dramatically reduced ipsilateral projection, suggesting that this receptor contributes to the formation of the ipsilateral retinal projection, most likely through its repulsive interaction with ephrin-B2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-935
Number of pages16
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2003

Bibliographical note

Previewed in: Neuron 39, 885-888.
Faculty of 1000 “Must Read Paper”: http://www.f1000biology.com/article/id/1007330/evaluation


  • ganglion-cell axons
  • receptor tyrosine kinases
  • central-nervous-system
  • retinotectal tectal system
  • commisural axons
  • protein-synthesis
  • uncrossed axons
  • radial GLIA
  • mouse
  • ligands


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