Patterns of spinal sensory-motor connectivity prescribed by a dorsoventral positional template

Gülen Sürmeli, Turgay Akay, Gregory C. Ippolito, Philip W. Tucker, Thomas M. Jessell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Sensory-motor circuits in the spinal cord are constructed with a fine specificity that coordinates motor behavior, but the mechanisms that direct sensory connections with their motor neuron partners remain unclear. The dorsoventral settling position of motor pools in the spinal cord is known to match the distal-to-proximal position of their muscle targets in the limb, but the significance of invariant motor neuron positioning is unknown. An analysis of sensory-motor connectivity patterns in FoxP1 mutant mice, where motor neuron position has been scrambled, shows that the final pattern of sensory-motor connections is initiated by the projection of sensory axons to discrete dorsoventral domains of the spinal cord without regard for motor neuron subtype or, indeed, the presence of motor neurons. By implication, the clustering and dorsoventral settling position of motor neuron pools serve as a determinant of the pattern of sensory input specificity and thus motor coordination. PaperClip:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-665
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 28 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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