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Neuron. 2000 Oct;28(1):91-101.

Control of dendritic field formation in Drosophila: the roles of flamingo and competition between homologous neurons.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA.


Neurons elaborate dendrites with stereotypic branching patterns, thereby defining their receptive fields. These branching patterns may arise from properties intrinsic to the neurons or competition between neighboring neurons. Genetic and laser ablation studies reported here reveal that different multiple dendritic neurons in the same dorsal cluster in the Drosophila embryonic PNS do not compete with one another for dendritic fields. In contrast, when dendrites from homologous neurons in the two hemisegments meet at the dorsal midline in larval stages, they appear to repel each other. The formation of normal dendritic fields and the competition between dendrites of homologous neurons require the proper expression level of Flamingo, a G protein-coupled receptor-like protein, in embryonic neurons. Whereas Flamingo functions downstream of Frizzled in specifying planar polarity, Flamingo-dependent dendritic outgrowth is independent of Frizzled.

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