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Curr Top Dev Biol. 2009;87:175-94. doi: 10.1016/S0070-2153(09)01206-X.

Looking beyond development: maintaining nervous system architecture.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA.

Abstract

Neuronal circuitries established in development must persist throughout life. This poses a serious challenge to the structural integrity of an embryonically patterned nervous system as an animal dramatically increases its size postnatally, remodels parts of its anatomy, and incorporates new neurons. In addition, body movements, injury, and ageing generate physical stress on the nervous system. Specific molecular pathways maintain intrinsic properties of neurons in the mature nervous system. Other factors ensure that the overall organization of entire neuronal ensembles into ganglia and fascicles is appropriately maintained upon external challenges. Here, we discuss different molecules underlying these neuronal maintenance mechanisms, with a focus on lessons learned from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

PMID:
19427520
DOI:
10.1016/S0070-2153(09)01206-X
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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