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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2011 Jun 1;3(6). pii: a001727. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a001727.

Mechanisms and molecules of neuronal wiring: a primer.

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Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


The complex patterns of neuronal wiring in the adult nervous system depend on a series of guidance events during neural development that establish a framework on which functional circuits can be built. In this subject collection, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie neuronal guidance are considered from several perspectives, ranging from how cytoskeletal dynamics within extending neuronal growth cones steer axons, to how guidance cues influence synaptogenesis. We introduce here some basic topics to frame the more detailed reviews in following articles, including the cellular strategies that define basic themes governing neuronal wiring throughout life, an enumeration of the molecular cues and receptors known to play key guidance roles during neural development, and an overview of the signaling mechanisms that transduce guidance information into growth-cone steering.

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