Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 2009 Dec 15;336(2):213-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.09.041. Epub 2009 Oct 7.

Patterning and organization of motor neuron dendrites in the Drosophila larva.

Author information

Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, 1600 NW 10th Avenue, Miami, FL 33136, USA.


Precise patterns of motor neuron connectivity depend on the proper establishment and positioning of the dendritic arbor. However, how different motor neurons orient their dendrites to selectively establish synaptic connectivity is not well understood. The Drosophila neuromuscular system provides a simple model to investigate the underlying organizational principles by which distinct subclasses of motor neurons orient their dendrites within the central neuropil. Here we used genetic mosaic techniques to characterize the diverse dendritic morphologies of individual motor neurons from five main nerve branches (ISN, ISNb, ISNd, SNa, and SNc) in the Drosophila larva. We found that motor neurons from different nerve branches project their dendrites to largely stereotyped mediolateral domains in the dorsal region of the neuropil providing full coverage of the receptive territory. Furthermore, dendrites from different motor neurons overlap extensively, regardless of subclass, suggesting that repulsive dendrite-dendrite interactions between motor neurons do not influence the mediolateral positioning of dendritic fields. The anatomical data in this study provide important information regarding how different subclasses of motor neurons organize their dendrites and establishes a foundation for the investigation of the mechanisms that control synaptic connectivity in the Drosophila motor circuit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center