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Development. 2011 Jan;138(2):183-95. doi: 10.1242/dev.046441.

Developmental regulation of axon branching in the vertebrate nervous system.

Author information

1
Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, Department of Cell and Neurobiology, Keck School of Medicine, Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Southern California, 1501 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.

Abstract

During nervous system development, axons generate branches to connect with multiple synaptic targets. As with axon growth and guidance, axon branching is tightly controlled in order to establish functional neural circuits, yet the mechanisms that regulate this important process are less well understood. Here, we review recent advances in the study of several common branching processes in the vertebrate nervous system. By focusing on each step in these processes we illustrate how different types of branching are regulated by extracellular cues and neural activity, and highlight some common principles that underlie the establishment of complex neural circuits in vertebrate development.

PMID:
21177340
PMCID:
PMC3005597
DOI:
10.1242/dev.046441
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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