Sasaki T, Komatsu Y, Yamamori T. Expression patterns of SLIT/ROBO mRNAs reveal a characteristic feature in the entorhinal-hippocampal area of macaque monkeys. BMC Res Notes. 2020. 262(13) 1-6.
SLITs are secreted glycoproteins that bind to Roundabouts (ROBOs) which are a family member of transmembrane receptors. SLIT signaling has well-conserved roles in mediating axon repulsion in a developing nervous system. We previously reported that SLIT1 mRNA is enriched in middle layers of the prefrontal cortex of macaque monkeys in a developmentally regulated manner. Other SLIT (SLIT2 and SLIT3) mRNAs showed preferential expressions in the prefrontal cortex with a distinct laminar pattern. To obtain further clues to the role of SLIT signaling in the organization of the primate brain, we performed ISH analysis of SLIT and ROBO mRNAs using adult macaque brain tissues.
In this study, we examined the expression patterns of SLITs and ROBOs (ROBO1 and ROBO2) in other brain regions, and found intense and characteristic expression patterns of these genes in the entorhinal-hippocampal area. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that SLIT1 and SLIT2 mRNAs showed marked complementary distribution in the entorhinal cortex. SLIT and ROBO mRNAs were widely expressed in the hippocampus with modest regional preference. These findings suggest that each SLIT gene has a specialized role that is particularly important for prefrontal as well as hippocampal connectivity in the primate cortex.