Wang, L., Mongera, A., Bonanomi, D., Cyganek, L., Pfaff, S.L., Nüsslein-Volhard, C., Marquardt, T. (2014) A conserved axon type hierarchy governing peripheral nerve assembly. Development (Cambridge, England). 141:1875-83.
In gnathostome vertebrates, including fish, birds and mammals, peripheral nerves link nervous system, body and immediate environment by integrating efferent pathways controlling movement apparatus or organ function and afferent pathways underlying somatosensation. Several lines of evidence suggest that peripheral nerve assembly involves instructive interactions between efferent and afferent axon types, but conflicting findings challenge this view. Using genetic modeling in zebrafish, chick and mouse we uncover here a conserved hierarchy of axon type-dependent extension and selective fasciculation events that govern peripheral nerve assembly, which recapitulates the successive phylogenetic emergence of peripheral axon types and circuits in the vertebrate lineage.