A precise architecture, maintained as neurons grow
Nerve cells make their connections at junctions called synapses, following a precise architecture that is mostly laid out early in development. But how do the synapses maintain their correct positions as the animal grows? Scientists at Yale School of Medicine and the University of Utah have produced the first evidence that this process relies on glial cells to communicate growth information, and identified a novel molecular pathway that could be linked in human to neurological disease. The findings by Zhiyong Shao, Ryan Christensen, Shigeki Watanabe, Erik Jorgensen and Daniel A. Colón-Ramos appear online July 18 in the journal Cell.