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Although molecular gradients have long been postulated to play a role in the development of topographic projections in the nervous system, relatively little is known about how axons evaluate gradients. Do growth cones respond to concentration or to slope? Do they react suddenly or gradually? Is there adaptation? In the developing retinotectal system,(More)
Highly localized changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) can be evoked in neuronal growth cones; these are followed by local changes in filopodia. Focally applied electric fields evoked spatially restricted, high magnitude increases in growth cone [Ca2+]i. The earliest and greatest increases were localized to small regions within a growth(More)
The dynamic nature of neuronal growth cone filopodia led to the suggestion that the primary function of filopodia is to sample their immediate environment, responding to and transducing environmental signals that affect growth cone behaviour and shape. Filopodia seem well suited to serve as antenna-like sensors, their broad span allows sampling of(More)
Axonal outgrowth is generally thought to be controlled by direct interaction of the lead growth cone with guidance cues, and, in trailing axons, by fasciculation with pioneer fibers. Responses of axons and growth cones were examined as cultured retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons encountered repellent cues. Either contact with cells expressing ephrins or(More)
Activation of a mouse in vitro neuromuscular synapse produces a reduction in synaptic efficacy which is greater for nonactivated than for activated inputs to the myotubes. This has been shown to require thrombin and thrombin receptor activation and to involve a protein kinase C (PKC)-mediated step. We show in the present work that phorbol ester activation(More)
Many external signals influence growth cone motility, pathfinding, and the formation of synapses that lead to the final map formation of the retinotectal system. Chick temporal retinal ganglion cell axons (RGCs) collapse and retract after encountering posterior tectal cells in vitro. During this process lateral extensions appear along the RGC axonal shaft.(More)
Avian retinotectal and rodent retinocollicular systems are general model systems used to examine developmental processes that underpin topographically organized neuronal circuits. The two systems rely on guidance components to establish their precise retinotopic maps, but many cellular events differ during their development. For example, compared with the(More)
Neurons develop and make very stable, long-term synaptic connections with other nerve cells and with muscle. Synaptic stability at the neuromuscular junction changes over development in that a proliferation of synaptic input are made to individual myotubes and synapses from all but one neuron are lost during development. In an established co-culture(More)
Although it is becoming increasingly clear that structural dynamics on neurite shafts play important roles in establishing neuronal architecture, the underlying mechanisms are unknown. The present study investigates local induction of filopodia along the shafts of neurites, a process that, by analogy to the growth cone, can represent the first stage in the(More)
Previous findings indicate that spatial restriction of intracellular calcium levels within growth cones can regulate growth cone behavior at many levels, ranging from filopodial disposition to neurite extension. By combining techniques for focal stimulation of growth cones with those for measurement of filopodia and for capturing low intensity calcium(More)