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Electrical activity in neurons is generally initiated in dendritic processes then propagated along axons to synapses, where it is passed to other neurons. Major structural features of neurons-their dendrites and axons-are thus related to their fundamental functions: the receipt and transmission of information. The acquisition of these distinct properties by(More)
The polarization of axon and dendrites underlies the ability of neurons to integrate and transmit information in the brain. We show here that the serine/threonine kinase LKB1, previously implicated in the establishment of epithelial polarity and control of cell growth, is required for axon specification during neuronal polarization in the mammalian cerebral(More)
A direct histological assay of axonal regeneration would have many advantages over currently available behavioral, electrophysiological, and radiometric assays. We show that peripheral sensory axons marked with the yellow fluorescent protein in transgenic mice can be viewed transcutaneously in superficial nerves. Degenerating and regenerating axons can be(More)
This protocol describes how to use the Brainbow strategy to label neurons in many different hues. The Brainbow system uses a random Cre/lox recombination to create varied combinations of red, blue, and green fluorescent proteins in each cell. The differences in color allow users to follow multiple cells, regardless of how closely they are positioned. This(More)
Current limitations in technology have prevented an extensive analysis of the connections among neurons, particularly within nonmammalian organisms. We developed a transsynaptic viral tracer originally for use in mice, and then tested its utility in a broader range of organisms. By engineering the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) to encode a fluorophore and(More)
How neurons connect to form functional circuits is central to the understanding of the development and function of the nervous system. In the somatosensory system, perception of sensory stimuli to the head requires specific connections between trigeminal sensory neurons and their many target areas in the central nervous system. Different trigeminal subtypes(More)
Extrinsic cues activate intrinsic signaling mechanisms to pattern neuronal shape and connectivity. We showed previously that three cytoplasmic Ser/Thr kinases, LKB1, SAD-A, and SAD-B, control early axon-dendrite polarization in forebrain neurons. Here, we assess their role in other neuronal types. We found that all three kinases are dispensable for axon(More)
Viruses have been used as transsynaptic tracers, allowing one to map the inputs and outputs of neuronal populations, due to their ability to replicate in neurons and transmit in vivo only across synaptically connected cells. To date, their use has been largely restricted to mammals. In order to explore the use of such viruses in an expanded host range, we(More)
This protocol describes how the photoconvertible protein Kaede can be used to determine the birthdates of neurons in live zebrafish. The methods used are birthdating analysis by photoconverted fluorescent protein tracing in vivo (BAPTI) and BAPTI combined with subpopulation markers (BAPTISM). Because Kaede can be converted from green to red fluorescence at(More)
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