Mechanisms regulating dendritic arbor patterning
The nervous system is populated by diverse types of neurons, each of which has dendritic trees with strikingly different morphologies. These neuron-specific morphologies determine how dendritic trees integrate thousands of synaptic inputs to generate different firing properties. To ensure proper neuronal function and connectivity, it is necessary that dendrite patterns are precisely controlled and coordinated with synaptic activity. Here, we summarize the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate the formation of cell type-specific dendrite patterns during development. We focus on different aspects of vertebrate dendrite patterning that are particularly important in determining the neuronal function; such as the shape, branching, orientation and size of the arbors as well as the development of dendritic spine protrusions that receive excitatory inputs and compartmentalize postsynaptic responses. Additionally, we briefly comment on the implications of aberrant dendritic morphology for nervous system disease.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00018-017-2588-8
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