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In vivo development of dendritic orientation in wild-type and mislocalized retinal ganglion cells. Neural Dev 2010 Nov 02;5:29



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-77958617157   20 Citations


BACKGROUND: Many neurons in the central nervous system, including retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), possess asymmetric dendritic arbors oriented toward their presynaptic partners. How such dendritic arbors become biased during development in vivo is not well understood. Dendritic arbors may become oriented by directed outgrowth or by reorganization of an initially unbiased arbor. To distinguish between these possibilities, we imaged the dynamic behavior of zebrafish RGC dendrites during development in vivo. We then addressed how cell positioning within the retina, altered in heart-and-soul (has) mutants, affects RGC dendritic orientation.

RESULTS: In vivo multiphoton time-lapse analysis revealed that RGC dendrites initially exhibit exploratory behavior in multiple directions but progressively become apically oriented. The lifetimes of basal and apical dendrites were generally comparable before and during the period when arbors became biased. However, with maturation, the addition and extension rates of basal dendrites were slower than those of the apical dendrites. Oriented dendritic arbors were also found in misplaced RGCs of the has retina but there was no preferred orientation amongst the population. However, has RGCs always projected dendrites toward nearby neuropil where amacrine and bipolar cell neurites also terminated. Chimera analysis showed that the abnormal dendritic organization of RGCs in the mutant was non-cell autonomous.

CONCLUSIONS: Our observations show that RGC dendritic arbors acquire an apical orientation by selective and gradual restriction of dendrite addition to the apical side of the cell body, rather than by preferential dendrite stabilization or elimination. A biased arbor emerges at a stage when many of the dendritic processes still appear exploratory. The generation of an oriented RGC dendritic arbor is likely to be determined by cell-extrinsic cues. Such cues are unlikely to be localized to the basal lamina of the inner retina, but rather may be provided by cells presynaptic to the RGCs.

Author List

Choi JH, Law MY, Chien CB, Link BA, Wong RO


Brian A. Link PhD Professor in the Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Animals, Genetically Modified
Green Fluorescent Proteins
Imaging, Three-Dimensional
Microscopy, Confocal
Presynaptic Terminals
Retinal Ganglion Cells
Time Factors
Zebrafish Proteins
jenkins-FCD Prod-486 e3098984f26de787f5ecab75090d0a28e7f4f7c0