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Self-avoidance and tiling: Mechanisms of dendrite and axon spacing

Self-avoidance and tiling: Mechanisms of dendrite and axon spacing

Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology 2(9): A001750

The spatial pattern of branches within axonal or dendritic arbors and the relative arrangement of neighboring arbors with respect to one another impact a neuron's potential connectivity. Although arbors can adopt diverse branching patterns to suit their functions, evenly spread branches that avoid clumping or overlap are a common feature of many axonal and dendritic arbors. The degree of overlap between neighboring arbors innervating a surface is also characteristic within particular neuron types. The arbors of some populations of neurons innervate a target with a comprehensive and nonoverlapping "tiled" arrangement, whereas those of others show substantial territory overlap. This review focuses on cellular and molecular studies that have provided insight into the regulation of spatial arrangements of neurite branches within and between arbors. These studies have revealed principles that govern arbor arrangements in dendrites and axons in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Diverse molecular mechanisms controlling the spatial patterning of sister branches and neighboring arbors have begun to be elucidated.

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Accession: 055701554

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PMID: 20573716

DOI: 10.1101/cshperspect.a001750

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