Neural circuit formation is a critical process in brain development. Axon guidance molecules, their receptors, and intracellular mediators are important to establish neural circuits. Collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs) are known intercellular mediators of a number of repulsive guidance molecules. Studies of mutant mice suggest roles of CRMPs in dendrite development. However, molecular mechanisms of CRMP-mediated dendritic development remain to elucidate. In this study, we show abnormal orientation of basal dendrites (extension to deeper side) of layer V pyramidal neurons in the cerebral cortex of CRMP4−/− mice. Moreover, we observed severe abnormality in orientation of the basal dendrites of these neurons in double knockout of CRMP1 and 4, suggesting redundant functions of these two genes. Redundant gene functions were also observed in proximal bifurcation phenotype in apical dendrites of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. These results indicate that CRMP1 and CRMP4 regulate proper orientation of the basal dendrites of layer V neurons in the cerebral cortex.
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