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Development. 2005 Aug;132(16):3631-42. Epub 2005 Jul 20.

Cellular mechanisms of dendrite pruning in Drosophila: insights from in vivo time-lapse of remodeling dendritic arborizing sensory neurons.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. dww@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Regressive events that refine exuberant or inaccurate connections are critical in neuronal development. We used multi-photon, time-lapse imaging to examine how dendrites of Drosophila dendritic arborizing (da) sensory neurons are eliminated during early metamorphosis, and how intrinsic and extrinsic cellular mechanisms control this deconstruction. Removal of the larval dendritic arbor involves two mechanisms: local degeneration and branch retraction. In local degeneration, major branch severing events entail focal disruption of the microtubule cytoskeleton, followed by thinning of the disrupted region, severing and fragmentation. Retraction was observed at distal tips of branches and in proximal stumps after severing events. The pruning program of da neuron dendrites is steroid induced; cell-autonomous dominant-negative inhibition of steroid action blocks local degeneration, although retraction events still occur. Our data suggest that steroid-induced changes in the epidermis may contribute to dendritic retraction. Finally, we find that phagocytic blood cells not only engulf neuronal debris but also attack and sever intact branches that show signs of destabilization.

PMID:
16033801
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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