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Nat Commun. 2017 Aug 17;8(1):282. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00283-3.

Extrinsic mechanical forces mediate retrograde axon extension in a developing neuronal circuit.

Author information

1
Institut de Biologie Paris-Seine (IBPS)-Developmental Biology Laboratory, CNRS UMR7622, INSERM U1156, F-75005, Paris, France. marie.breau@upmc.fr.
2
Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, 75005, Paris, France. marie.breau@upmc.fr.
3
Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, 75005, Paris, France.
4
Laboratoire Physico Chimie Curie, Institut Curie, PSL Research University, CNRS UMR168, 75005, Paris, France.
5
Institut de Biologie Paris-Seine (IBPS)-Developmental Biology Laboratory, CNRS UMR7622, INSERM U1156, F-75005, Paris, France.

Abstract

To form functional neural circuits, neurons migrate to their final destination and extend axons towards their targets. Whether and how these two processes are coordinated in vivo remains elusive. We use the zebrafish olfactory placode as a system to address the underlying mechanisms. Quantitative live imaging uncovers a choreography of directed cell movements that shapes the placode neuronal cluster: convergence of cells towards the centre of the placodal domain and lateral cell movements away from the brain. Axon formation is concomitant with lateral movements and occurs through an unexpected, retrograde mode of extension, where cell bodies move away from axon tips attached to the brain surface. Convergence movements are active, whereas cell body lateral displacements are of mainly passive nature, likely triggered by compression forces from converging neighbouring cells. These findings unravel a previously unknown mechanism of neuronal circuit formation, whereby extrinsic mechanical forces drive the retrograde extension of axons.How neuronal migration and axon growth coordinate during development is only partially understood. Here the authors use quantitative imaging to characterise the morphogenesis of the zebrafish olfactory placode and report an unexpected phenomenon, whereby axons extend through the passive movement of neuron cell bodies away from tethered axon tips.

PMID:
28819208
PMCID:
PMC5561127
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-017-00283-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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