11-11-11 Neuronal Development Continued

11-11-11 Neuronal Development Continued - ZOL 320...

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ZOL 320 Developmental Bio November 11, 2011 Neuronal Developmental Mechanisms Continued Axon development in 3 steps: 1. Pathway selection : Directs growth to a region 2. Target selection : Specifies which cells to contact 3. Address selection : Determines which connections will be kept A. Pathway Selection B. Target selection C. Address selection a. Synapse connections are tested; only the most functional survive. b. Neurotrophins allow neurons to survive c. Regulatory control of apoptosis c.i. Normally nerve cells are programmed to die via caspase activation c.ii. But, caspase only activated if Bcl2 is inactive (Bcl2 blocks apoptosis) c.iii. Neurotrophins keep Bcl2 active to prevent cell death c.iv. Know roles of Bcl2 and caspase!! d. Neurotrophin rescue of cells d.i. Target tissue expresses enough to rescue some, but not all axons d.ii. Axons “compete” for factors; losers undergo apoptosis d.iii. Often axons must be active (sending signals) for factors to have effect – non-functional connections are lost
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11-11-11 Neuronal Development Continued - ZOL 320...

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