Cell adhesion molecules and the migration of LHRH neurons during development

R. B. Norgren, R. Brackenbury

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67 Scopus citations


During embryogenesis, LHRH neurons arise in the olfactory epithelium, migrate along the olfactory nerve, and enter the forebrain. We have examined the distribution of several cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) in the developing chick olfactory system and brain to determine whether differential distributions of these adhesion molecules might be important in pathway choices made by migrating LHRH neurons. Single- and double-label immunocytochemical studies indicated that high levels of N-CAM and N-cadherin were expressed throughout the olfactory epithelium and not restricted to the medial half of the olfactory epithelium where most of the LHRH neurons originate. Further, high levels of N-CAM, Ng-CAM, and N-cadherin were uniformly expressed throughout the entire olfactory nerve while migrating LHRH neurons were confined to the medial half of the nerve. However, once LHRH neurons reach the brain, they migrate dorsally and caudally, tangential to the medial surface of the forebrain, along a region enriched in N-CAM and Ng-CAM. After this first stage of migration within the brain, LHRH neurons migrate laterally. At this stage, there is no correlation between the intensity of N-CAM and Ng-CAM immunostaining and the location of LHRH neurons. These results suggest that N-CAM, Ng-CAM, and N-cadherin do not play a guiding role in LHRH neuronal migration through the olfactory epithelium and olfactory nerve but that migrating LHRH neurons may follow a “CAM-trail” of N-CAM and Ng-CAM along the medial surface of the forebrain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-387
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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