A third possibility is that RGCs with a contralateral trajectory have acquired the ability to overcome an intrinsically inhibitory chiasm environment. We previously identified Ng-CAM-related cell adhesion molecule (Nr-CAM) as a candidate molecule that facilitates RGC chiasm crossing. Nr-CAM is expressed by non-VT RGCs and by radial glial cells
at the chiasm midline. Nr-CAM is also expressed in late-born RGCs that settle in the VT region and project contralaterally. In vivo, Nr-CAM is important only for the late-born contralateral projection from the VT crescent (Williams et al., 2006). Presumably other factors function alone or in concert with Nr-CAM to mediate midline crossing, to support the growth of contralaterally projecting RGC axons, and/or to overcome inhibition at the midline. Members of the L1 family of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), notably Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Library purchase Nr-CAM, interact with Semaphorins (Semas) and have been suggested to play a role in midline crossing (Bechara et al., 2007, Derijck et al., 2010, Niquille et al., 2009, Piper et al., 2009 and Sakai and Halloran, 2006). We have considered the possibility that Semas and their receptors BMS-354825 might partner with Nr-CAM to regulate midline crossing at the mouse optic chiasm. We show here that a tripartite molecular system directs contralateral RGC axons across the optic chiasm midline. Nr-CAM and Semaphorin6D (Sema6D) are expressed on radial glia, Plexin-A1 is expressed on neurons
around the chiasm midline, and Plexin-A1 and Nr-CAM are expressed on contralateral RGC axons. Alone, the unconstrained Astemizole actions of Sema6D repel RGCs with a crossed projection, but presentation of Sema6D in combination with Nr-CAM and Plexin-A1 promotes rather than repels axonal growth of crossed RGCs. We also show that Nr-CAM functions as an axonal receptor for Sema6D and that Sema6D, Plexin-A1, and Nr-CAM are each required for efficient RGC decussation at the optic chiasm in vivo. These findings suggest that contralateral projections depend on the expression of Sema6D, Nr-CAM, and Plexin-A1 by midline chiasm cells—forming a ligand complex
that activates a Nr-CAM/Plexin-A1 receptor system on RGCs. Several lines of evidence prompted us to investigate the expression patterns of semaphorins at the optic chiasm. First, semaphorins are involved in a variety of midline models (Derijck et al., 2010, Piper et al., 2009 and Sakai and Halloran, 2006). Second, Ig-CAMs are known to modulate semaphorin signaling (Bechara et al., 2007, Nawabi et al., 2010 and Wolman et al., 2007). We therefore examined the expression pattern of semaphorins in the retina and optic chiasm, initially focusing on semaphorin3 (Sema3) and semaphorin6 (Sema6) family members because of their established roles in axon guidance in the mouse forebrain and spinal cord (Derijck et al., 2010, Pecho-Vrieseling et al., 2009, Piper et al., 2009, Rünker et al., 2008, Suto et al.