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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2014 Aug;27:47-52. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2014.02.008. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

The role of neuronal activity and transmitter release on synapse formation.

Author information

1
MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King's College London, New Hunt's House, 4th Floor, Guy's Hospital Campus, London SE1 1UL, UK. Electronic address: laura.andreae@kcl.ac.uk.
2
MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King's College London, New Hunt's House, 4th Floor, Guy's Hospital Campus, London SE1 1UL, UK. Electronic address: juan.burrone@kcl.ac.uk.

Abstract

The long history of probing the role of neuronal activity in the development of nervous system circuitry has recently taken an interesting turn. Although undoubtedly activity plays a critical part in the maintenance and refinement of synaptic connections, often via competitive mechanisms, evidence is building that it also drives the process of synapse formation itself. Perhaps predictably, this turns out not to be a uniform process. It seems that different circuits, indeed specific synaptic connections, are differentially sensitive to the effects of activity. We examine possible ways in which neurotransmitter may drive synapse formation, and speculate on how the environment of the developing brain may allow a different spatiotemporal range for neuronal activity to operate in the generation of connectivity.

PMID:
24632375
PMCID:
PMC4127784
DOI:
10.1016/j.conb.2014.02.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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