Axon guidance involves multiple second messenger signal transduction pathways. Although each signal transduction pathway has been characterized, only a few studies have examined crosstalk between these cascades. Here, we applied a simultaneous second messenger imaging method to the growth cone and demonstrated correlations between cAMP, cGMP, and Ca 2+. The levels of cAMP and cGMP in non-stimulated freely extending growth cones showed a negative correlation without delay. Although there was no direct correlation between cAMP and Ca 2+, examination of cross correlations using small time windows showed frequent switching behavior from negative to positive and vice versa. Furthermore, spatially asymmetric cAMP and cGMP signals in freely deviating growth cones were visualized directly. These results indicate that we succeed in relating second messenger crosstalk to growth cone deviation and extension, and also indicate the possibility of predicting axon guidance from this second messenger crosstalk.
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