Directional guidance of neuronal migration in the olfactory system by the protein Slit

Nature. 1999 Jul 22;400(6742):331-6. doi: 10.1038/22477.


Although cell migration is crucial for neural development, molecular mechanisms guiding neuronal migration have remained unclear. Here we report that the secreted protein Slit repels neuronal precursors migrating from the anterior subventricular zone in the telencephalon to the olfactory bulb. Our results provide a direct demonstration of a molecular cue whose concentration gradient guides the direction of migrating neurons. They also support a common guidance mechanism for axon projection and neuronal migration and suggest that Slit may provide a molecular tool with potential therapeutic applications in controlling and directing cell migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Chemotactic Factors / metabolism
  • Chemotactic Factors / physiology*
  • Chemotaxis / physiology*
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Culture Techniques
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb / embryology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Immunologic / physiology
  • Septum Pellucidum / cytology
  • Septum Pellucidum / embryology
  • Telencephalon / cytology
  • Telencephalon / embryology*


  • Chemotactic Factors
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • roundabout protein
  • sli protein, Drosophila