Atypical cadherins Celsr1-3 differentially regulate migration of facial branchiomotor neurons in mice

J Neurosci. 2010 Jul 14;30(28):9392-401. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0124-10.2010.


During hindbrain development, facial branchiomotor neurons (FBM neurons) migrate from medial rhombomere (r) 4 to lateral r6. In zebrafish, mutations in planar cell polarity genes celsr2 and frizzled3a block caudal migration of FBM neurons. Here, we investigated the role of cadherins Celsr1-3, and Fzd3 in FBM neuron migration in mice. In Celsr1 mutants (knock-out and Crash alleles), caudal migration was compromised and neurons often migrated rostrally into r2 and r3, as well as laterally. These phenotypes were not caused by defects in hindbrain patterning or neuronal specification. Celsr1 is expressed in FBM neuron precursors and the floor plate, but not in FBM neurons. Consistent with this, conditional inactivation showed that the function of Celsr1 in FBM neuron migration was non-cell autonomous. In Celsr2 mutants, FBM neurons initiated caudal migration but moved prematurely into lateral r4 and r5. This phenotype was enhanced by inactivation of Celsr3 in FBM neurons and mimicked by inactivation of Fzd3. Furthermore, Celsr2 was epistatic to Celsr1. These data indicate that Celsr1-3 differentially regulate FBM neuron migration. Celsr1 helps to specify the direction of FBM neuron migration, whereas Celsr2 and 3 control its ability to migrate.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Branchial Region / metabolism
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neuronal Tract-Tracers
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Rhombencephalon / metabolism*


  • Cadherins
  • Neuronal Tract-Tracers