Lines of investigation
The proper development and connectivity of an adult brain need the extension and guide of neuronal axons to their targets where they will establish appropriate synapses. We are interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying axon guidance and target recognition during the development of the nervous system. We focus on the binary decision of crossing or not the midline that many different types of axons must take at some point of their trajectory and how later they reach their final targets at both sides of the brain and once there, sensory information from both brain hemispheres is integrated and processed. Many features of mature neural function, including the interpretation of sensory information and the coordination of locomotion, depend on coherent communication between the two halves of the nervous system. Therefore, the correct formation of bilateral circuits is essential for the perfect functioning of the mature brain. To understand the mechanisms underlying the development of bilateral circuits our group applies a multidisciplinary set of approaches ranging from mouse genetics, anatomic studies and gene delivery in vivo and in vitro using the mouse visual system as a model.
- Multiomic Analysis of Neurons with Divergent Projection Patterns Identifies Novel Regulators of Axon Pathfinding Fernández-Nogales, M., López-Cascales, M.T., Murcia-Belmonte, V., Escalante, A., Fernández-Albert, J., Muñoz-Viana, R., Barco, A., Herrera, E. Advanced Science 2022 9 (29): art. 2200615 https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202200615
- A Retino-retinal Projection Guided by Unc5c Emerged in Species with Retinal Waves Murcia-Belmonte V, Coca Y, Vegar C, Negueruela S, de Juan Romero C, Valiño AJ, Sala S, DaSilva R, Kania A, Borrell V, Martinez LM, Erskine L, Herrera E Current Biology 2019 29(7):1149 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.02.052
- The peripheral eye: A neurogenic area with potential to treat retinal pathologies? Fernandez-Nogales M, Murcia-Belmonte V, Chen HY, Herrera E Progress in Retinal and Eye Research 2019 68:110 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.preteyeres.2018.09.001
- The Ciliary Margin Zone of the Mammalian Retina Generates Retinal Ganglion Cells Marcucci F, Murcia-Belmonte V, Wang Q, Coca Y, Ferreiro-Galve S, Kuwajima T, Khalid S, Ross ME, Mason C, Herrera E Cell Rep 2016 17(12):3153 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2016.11.016
- Zic2-Dependent Axon Midline Avoidance Controls the Formation of Major Ipsilateral Tracts in the CNS Escalante A, Murillo B, Morenilla-Palao C, Klar A, Herrera E Neuron 2013 80(6):1392 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2013.10.007