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J Neurosci. 2008 Apr 30;28(18):4613-8. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0019-08.2008.

Long-range axonal calcium sweep induces axon retraction.

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Laboratory of Chemical Pharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


Axon guidance molecules trigger a cascade of local signal in growth cones and evoke various morphologic responses, including axon attraction, repulsion, elongation, and retraction. However, little is known about whether subcellular compartments, other than axonal growth cones, control axon outgrowth. We found that in isolated dentate granule cells, local application of glutamate to the somatodendritic areas, but not the axon itself, induced rapid axon retraction, during which a calcium wave propagated from the somata to the axon terminals. The calcium wave and axon retraction were both inhibited by blockade of voltage-sensitive calcium channels and intracellular calcium dynamics. A combination of perisomatic application of calcium ionophore and depolarizing current injection induced axonal calcium sweep and axon retraction. Thus, perisomatic environments can modulate axon behavior through long-range intracellular communication.

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