Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Development. 2011 May;138(9):1839-49. doi: 10.1242/dev.062471. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

How Notch establishes longitudinal axon connections between successive segments of the Drosophila CNS.

Author information

  • 1National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and National Human Genome Research Institute NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Development of the segmented central nerve cords of vertebrates and invertebrates requires connecting successive neuromeres. Here, we show both how a pathway is constructed to guide pioneer axons between segments of the Drosophila CNS, and how motility of the pioneers along that pathway is promoted. First, canonical Notch signaling in specialized glial cells causes nearby differentiating neurons to extrude a mesh of fine projections, and shapes that mesh into a continuous carpet that bridges from segment to segment, hugging the glial surface. This is the direct substratum that pioneer axons follow as they grow. Simultaneously, Notch uses an alternate, non-canonical signaling pathway in the pioneer growth cones themselves, promoting their motility by suppressing Abl signaling to stimulate filopodial growth while presumably reducing substratum adhesion. This propels the axons as they establish the connection between successive segments.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk