A tension-based theory of morphogenesis and compact wiring in the central nervous system

  title={A tension-based theory of morphogenesis and compact wiring in the central nervous system},
  author={David C. Van Essen},
Many structural features of the mammalian central nervous system can be explained by a morphogenetic mechanism that involves mechanical tension along axons, dendrites and glial processes. In the cerebral cortex, for example, tension along axons in the white matter can explain how and why the cortex folds in a characteristic species-specific pattern. In the cerebellum, tension along parallel fibres can explain why the cortex is highly elongated but folded like an accordion. By keeping the… 
A 2020 view of tension-based cortical morphogenesis
A differential expansion sandwich plus (DES+) revision to the original TBM model for cerebral cortical expansion and folding is proposed, and a cerebellar multilayer sandwich (CMS) model is proposed that can account for many distinctive features, including its unique, accordion-like folding in the adult.
Mechanisms of Brain Morphogenesis
This review discusses recent advances in understanding of the physical mechanisms of morphogenesis during brain development, and focuses on two processes: formation of the primary brain vesicles and folding of the cerebral cortex.
The mechanical control of nervous system development
It is hypothesize that several steps during nervous system development, including neural progenitor cell differentiation, neuronal migration, axon extension and the folding of the brain, rely on or are even driven by mechanical cues and forces.
Morphological evolution of the vertebrate forebrain: From mechanical to cellular processes
Some mechanisms involved in the generation of this morphological divergence are discussed, based on simple spatial constraints for neurogenesis and mechanical forces generated by increasing neuronal numbers during development, and they are expected to contribute to unify the diverging vertebrate brain morphologies into general, simple mechanisms that help to establish homologies across groups.
The role of mechanics in axonal stability and development.
A Model of Brain Folding Based on Strong Local and Weak Long-Range Connectivity Requirements.
A computational model that instead of modeling mechanical forces relies on dimension reduction methods to place neurons according to specific connectivity requirements, which provides a unified conceptual understanding of gyrification linking cellular connectivity and macroscopic structures in large-scale neural network models of the brain.


Neuronal branching patterns and the economy of cortical wiring
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    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
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It is shown that a pattern of stripes can give economical wiring when axon diameters follow a law dp = dp + dwith p >4, where d1 and d2 are the diameters of the daughter b.
Specification of cerebral cortical areas.
The radial unit model provides a framework for understanding cerebral evolution, epigenetic regulation of the parcellation of cytoarchitectonic areas, and insight into the pathogenesis of certain cortical disorders in humans.
Neural component placement
The cytomechanics of axonal elongation and retraction
It is concluded that neurite length is regulated by axial tension in both elongation and retraction, and the data suggest a three-way controller: above some tension set point, the neurite is stimulated to elongate and below some different, lower tension threshold the neurites are stimulated to retract.
Early phenotype expression of cortical neurons: evidence that a subclass of migrating neurons have callosal axons.
The use of [3H]thymidine labeling in combination with various axonal transport tracers has revealed that a subset of migrating neurons in the fetal monkey cerebrum issue axons to the opposite cerebral hemisphere while still migrating to their final positions in the cortical plate, suggesting the cardinal distinction between projection and local circuit neurons may be specified in postmitotic neurons before they acquire their final locations in the cortex.
Why Does Cerebral Cortex Fissure and Fold
External morphological features of mammalian brains have long been utilized to judge not only the degree of phylogenetic development, but also the nature and level of complexity of brain functions.
Contribution of thalamic input to the specification of cytoarchitectonic cortical fields in the primate: Effects of bilateral enucleation in the fetal monkey on the boundaries, dimensions, and gyrification of striate and extrastriate cortex
Early‐enucleated fetuses (operated prior to embryonic day 77) showed morphological changes at the level of the thalamus and the cortex, and bilateral enucleation was performed at different fetal ages during corticogenesis.
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  • Biology
    Journal of cell science
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It is suggested that the exertion of tension by a growth cone could serve to guide the neurite along paths of high adhesivity both in vitro and in vivo.