The Role of Growth Cone Adhesion in Neuronal Morphogenesis, as Demonstrated by Interactions with Fibronectin and Laminin
The embryonic formation of nerve fibers (axons and dendrites) by neurons is both complex and regular. For example, the arrangement of nerves at the brachial plexus and beyond in the vertebrate forelimb is predictable within members of a species, yet is distinct from the pattern of other species. Such precise axonal pathways are forged by the activities of extending nerve fiber tips, first named the growth cone by Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1890). As holds for all cell movements, growth cones can be studied in terms of distinct questions: what starts, what maintains, what regulates the directions of and what stops growth cone movements (Trinkaus, 1984)? Each question probes a different facet of growth cone behavior, and answers to each may involve different intrinsic and extrinsic factors. In the case of the growth cone, morphogenetic behavior can be divided into five distinct activities; neurite elongation, turning, branching, retraction and synaptogenesis. Consistent patterns of nerve fiber pathways, such as in the brachial plexus, arise from the readout of developmental programs that determine these five growth cone activities.
KeywordsNeurite Outgrowth Brachial Plexus Ventral Root Spinal Cord Neuron Glycoprotein Complex
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