Zebrins: Molecular Markers of Compartmentation in the Cerebellum

  • Richard Hawkes
  • Gino Brochu
  • Louise Doré
  • Claude Gravel
  • Nicole Leclerc


Ordered projections in the brain are established in several stages. Initially, the formation of an afferent pathway depends on white matter interactions, such as contact guidance along genetically determined pathways and selective axon fasciculation, to guide neurites to the correct target fields. Subsequently, target cell recognition by afferent growth cones and competition between growth cones for targets (and between targets for inputs) serve to eliminate superfluous or incorrect projections and may refine the topography. Many regions, including the neocortex, the superior colliculus, the striatum, and the dorsal column nuclei, are functionally organized in the form of patches or stripes that correspond to the discrete segregation of the afferent or efferent axons. The same appears to be true in the cerebellum. Studies using the retrograde-anterograde axonal transport of tracers, electrophysiological recording, somatotopic mapping, and molecular mapping have all revealed a parasagittal bandlike topographical organization of the cerebellar cortex and its afferent and efferent connections. We are using pattern formation in the cerebellar cortex as a model to explore the rules that give rise to topographically ordered projections.


Purkinje Cell Cerebellar Cortex Granular Layer Mossy Fiber Cerebellar Nucleus 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Hawkes
  • Gino Brochu
  • Louise Doré
  • Claude Gravel
  • Nicole Leclerc

There are no affiliations available

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