Mice that lack astrotactin have slowed neuronal migration

Development. 2002 Feb;129(4):965-72.


The cortical regions of the brain are laminated as a result of directed migration of precursor cells along glia during development. Previously, we have used an assay system to identify astrotactin as a neuronal ligand for migration on glial fibers. To examine the function of astrotactin in vivo, we generated a null mutation by targeted gene disruption. The cerebella of astrotactin null mice are approximately 10% smaller than wild type. In vitro and in vivo cerebellar granule cell assays show a decrease in neuron-glial binding, a reduction in migration rates and abnormal development of Purkinje cells. Consequences of this are poorer balance and coordination. Thus, astrotactin functions in migration along glial processes in vivo, a process required for generating laminar structures and for the development of synaptic partner systems.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cerebellum / cytology
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Glycoproteins / physiology*
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Motor Activity
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Purkinje Cells / cytology


  • Astn1 protein, mouse
  • Glycoproteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins