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Nature. 2017 Jan 19;541(7637):365-370. doi: 10.1038/nature20794. Epub 2017 Jan 11.

Integration of temporal and spatial patterning generates neural diversity.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, New York University, New York, New York 10003, USA.
2
Department of Biology, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario L5L-1C6, Canada.
3
Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
4
Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology &Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.

Abstract

In the Drosophila optic lobes, 800 retinotopically organized columns in the medulla act as functional units for processing visual information. The medulla contains over 80 types of neuron, which belong to two classes: uni-columnar neurons have a stoichiometry of one per column, while multi-columnar neurons contact multiple columns. Here we show that combinatorial inputs from temporal and spatial axes generate this neuronal diversity: all neuroblasts switch fates over time to produce different neurons; the neuroepithelium that generates neuroblasts is also subdivided into six compartments by the expression of specific factors. Uni-columnar neurons are produced in all spatial compartments independently of spatial input; they innervate the neuropil where they are generated. Multi-columnar neurons are generated in smaller numbers in restricted compartments and require spatial input; the majority of their cell bodies subsequently move to cover the entire medulla. The selective integration of spatial inputs by a fixed temporal neuroblast cascade thus acts as a powerful mechanism for generating neural diversity, regulating stoichiometry and the formation of retinotopy.

PMID:
28077877
PMCID:
PMC5489111
DOI:
10.1038/nature20794
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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