Localization of the netrin guidance receptor, DCC, in the developing peripheral and enteric nervous systems Academic Article uri icon


  • Over recent years the secreted guidance cue, netrin-1, and its receptor, DCC, have been shown to be an essential guidance system driving axon pathfinding within the developing vertebrate central nervous system (CNS). Mice lacking DCC exhibit severe defects in commissural axon extension towards the floor plate demonstrating that the DCC-netrin guidance system is largely responsible for directing axonal projections toward the ventral midline in the developing spinal cord (Fazeli et al., Nature 386 (1997) 796). In addition, these mutants lack several major commissures within the forebrain, including the corpus callosum and the hippocampal commissure. In contrast to the CNS, the role of the DCC guidance receptor in the development of the mammalian peripheral and enteric nervous systems (PNS and ENS) has not been investigated. Here we demonstrate using immunohistochemical analysis that the DCC receptor is present in the developing mouse PNS where it is found on spinal, segmental, and sciatic nerves, and in developing sensory ganglia and their associated axonal projections. In addition, DCC is present in the ENS throughout the early developmental phase.

publication date

  • May 2001