Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 12th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Wrong Directions

Signal-receiving and signal-sending protein latrophilin-2 shapes the development of neural circuits

28 May 2023

Wrong Directions

To build the brain’s complex network, neurons are guided by cell surface proteins, binding to or repelling each other to establish the correct connections. Among these are latrophilins, which poke outwards from the cell membrane to contact other neurons, but also affect intracellular processes, interacting with signalling molecules called G proteins. Latrophilin-2 is critical for patterning in the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with memory. In mice, researchers found latrophilin-2 was involved in both neurons making projections towards others and those receiving contact, shaping connections through repulsive interactions with another protein, tenurin-3. Altering the distribution of latrophilin-2, expressing it in neurons known as proximal CA1 cells (pictured, in turquoise), changed the connections they developed. Yet projecting neurons weren't disrupted if latrophilin-2’s intracellular activities were also blocked, suggesting that external and internal signalling can be intertwined. Exploring these complex interactions could help understand how connections can go awry in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Written by Emmanuelle Briolat

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.