In rodents, the Robo1 gene regulates midline crossing of major nerve tracts, a fundamental property of the mammalian CNS. However, the neurodevelopmental function of the human ROBO1 gene remains unknown, apart from a suggested role in dyslexia. We therefore studied axonal crossing with a functional approach, based on magnetoencephalography, in 10 dyslexic individuals who all share the same rare, weakly expressing haplotype of the ROBO1 gene. Auditory-cortex responses were recorded separately to left- and right-ear sounds that were amplitude modulated at different frequencies. We found impaired interaural interaction that depended on the ROBO1 in a dose-dependent manner. Our results indicate that normal crossing of the auditory pathways requires an adequate ROBO1 expression level.
- auditory pathways
- interaural interaction