Assembly of trigeminal sensory ganglia by chemokine signaling

Neuron. 2005 Sep 1;47(5):653-66. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2005.07.014.


Sensory neurons with related functions form ganglia, but how these precisely positioned clusters are assembled has been unclear. Here, we use the zebrafish trigeminal sensory ganglion as a model to address this question. We find that some trigeminal sensory neurons are born at the position where the ganglion is assembled, whereas others are born at a distance and have to migrate against opposing morphogenetic movements to reach the site of ganglion assembly. Loss of Cxcr4b-mediated chemokine signaling results in the formation of mispositioned ganglia. Conversely, ectopic sources of the chemokine SDF1a can attract sensory neurons. Transplantation experiments reveal that neuron-neuron interaction and the adhesion molecules E- and N-Cadherin also contribute to ganglion assembly. These results indicate that ganglion formation depends on the interplay of birthplace, chemokine attraction, cell-cell interaction, and cadherin-mediated adhesion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadherins / physiology
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Chemokines / physiology*
  • Chemokines, CXC / biosynthesis
  • Chemokines, CXC / genetics
  • Ganglia, Sensory / cytology
  • Ganglia, Sensory / physiology*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Morpholines / pharmacology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Trigeminal Ganglion / cytology
  • Trigeminal Ganglion / physiology*
  • Zebrafish


  • Cadherins
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Chemokines
  • Chemokines, CXC
  • Morpholines
  • Receptors, CXCR4