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Research Group
Cellular & Molecular Mechanisms of Brain Wiring
Unit Unit Developmental Neurobiology »

Laboratory Web Unit

Principal Investigator Ph.D. Investigator Graduate students Technician Administration
Research Fields
Our research focuses to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the guidance of the main axonal tracts of the CNS in mammals. In particular, we are interested in elucidating how one of the most complex axon guidance systems in the mammalian forebrain, the thalamocortical projection, develops. Thalamocortical axons translate sensory information to the cerebral cortex in a topographical manner. Furthermore, recent studies have suggested that an abnormal development of this projection might be involved in some neurological diseases such as autism or epilepsy.

We are interested in the study of two basic mechanisms required for normal development of the thalamocortical projection: (1) neuronal specification of thalamic neurons, the process by which different types of dorsal thalamic cells (visual, auditory…) are generated, and (2) topographical axon guidance and targeting to the cortex, which allows the integration of these thalamocortical projections into the cortical circuit. To study these mechanisms, we combine experimental embryology, imaging techniques and standard histology, cellular and molecular biology methods, using the mice as experimental model.

Representative Publications

Mire E , Mezzera C, Leyva-Díaz E, V Paternain A, Squarzoni P, Bluy L, Castillo-Paterna M, López MJ, Peregrín S, Tessier-Lavigne M, Garel S, Galcerán J, Lerma J, López-Bendito G " Spontaneous activity regulates Robo1 transcription to mediate a switch in thalamocortical axon growth " Nature Neurosci. . 15 , 1134 - 1143 ( 2012 )

Marcos-Mondéjar P , Peregrín S, Li JY, Carlsson L, Tole S, López-Bendito G " The lhx2 transcription factor controls thalamocortical axonal guidance by specific regulation of robo1 and robo2 receptors " Journal of Neuroscience . 32(13) , 4372 - 4385 ( 2012 )

Bielle F* , Marcos-Mondéjar P*, Leyva-Díaz E*, Lokmane L*, Mire E, Mailhes C, Keita M, García N, Tessier-Lavigne M, Garel S, López-Bendito G. " Emergent growth cone responses to combinations of Slit1 and Netrin 1 in thalamocortical axon topography " Current Biology . 21(20) , 1784 - 1755 ( 2011 )

Little GE , López-Bendito G, Rünker AE, García N, Piñon MC, Chédotal A, Molnár Z, Mitchell KJ. " Specificity and plasticity of thalamocortical connections in Sema6A mutant mice " Plos Biology . 7(4) , e98 - ( 2009 )

Lopez-Bendito G.* , Cautinat A*, Sánchez JA, Bielle F, Flames N, Garratt AN, Talmage DA, Role L, Charnay P, Marín O, Garel S. " Tangential neuronal migration controls axon guidance: a role for Neuregulin-1 on thalamocortical axon navigation. " Cell . 125 , 127 - 142 ( 2006 ) * Co-author
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Universidad Miguel Hernández

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