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Biochem Soc Trans. 2003 Feb;31(Pt 1):50-5.

Neuron-glia interactions during axon guidance in Drosophila.

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NeuroDevelopment Group, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK.


Axons navigate to trace stereotypic trajectories over an environment often rich in glial cells. Once axonal trajectories are defined, their structuring proceeds through multiple fasciculation and defasciculation events, to finally establish the mature bundles. Fasciculation and ensheathment also proceed in close association between axons and glial cells, and ultimately require glia. The cross-talk between axons and glia during axon guidance is manifested in: (i) axonal fasciculation and bundling, promoted by glia; (ii) growth cone guidance, as glia function as guidepost cells at choice points; (iii) glial migration patterns, which are influenced by neurons; (iv) cell survival control, which constrains position and number of both cell types; and (iv) connectivity, where an axon contacts its final target aided by glial cells. Understanding the reciprocal interactions between neurons and glia during guidance and fasciculation is absolutely necessary to implement repair of axonal trajectories upon damage. Drosophila can be used as a model system for these purposes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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