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Annu Rev Neurosci. 2008;31:339-58. doi: 10.1146/annurev.neuro.31.060407.125649.

Wnt signaling in neural circuit assembly.

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Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom.


The Wnt family of secreted proteins plays a crucial role in nervous system wiring. Wnts regulate neuronal positioning, polarization, axon and dendrite development, and synaptogenesis. These diverse roles of Wnt proteins are due not only to the large numbers of Wnt ligands and receptors but also to their ability to signal through distinct signaling pathways in different cell types and developmental contexts. Studies on Wnts have shed new light on novel molecular mechanisms that control the development of complex neuronal connections. This review discusses recent advances on how Wnt signaling influences different aspects of neuronal circuit assembly through changes in gene expression and/or cytoskeletal modulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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