Yuan, XB (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Neurosci, Shanghai 200031, Peoples R China,email@example.com
Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) migrate from the olfactory epithelium towards the olfactory bulb during development. However, the guidance mechanism for OEC migration remains a mystery. Here we show that migrating OECs expressed the receptor of the repulsive guidance factor Slit-2. A gradient of Slit-2 in front of cultured OECs first caused the collapse of the leading front, then the reversal of cell migration. These Slit-2 effects depended on the Ca2+ release from internal stores through inositol (1,4,5)-triphosphate receptor channels. Interestingly, in response to Slit-2 stimulation, collapse of the leading front required the activation of the F-actin severing protein cofilin in a Ca2+-dependent manner, whereas the subsequent reversal of the soma migration depended on the reversal of RhoA activity across the cell. Finally, the Slit-2-induced repulsion of cell migration was fully mimicked by co-application of inhibitors of F-actin polymerization and RhoA kinase. Our findings revealed Slit-2 as a repulsive guidance factor for OEC migration and an unexpected link between Ca2+ and cofilin signaling during Slit-2-triggered repulsion.