Lecture 17 Axon Guidance Axons reach their targets in a series of discrete steps Axons are directed to targets by specific molecular cues ? called guidance factors; proof of the ?chemoaffinity hypothesis? Guidance cues can be either chemoattractants or chemorepellants Guidance cues can be soluble, cell attached, or matrix-associated (ECM) Guidance cues can have distinct effects on different axons Guidance cues engage specific receptors that elicit intracellular signaling Intracellular signals modify cytoskeletal activity to steer the growth cone along its path Midline crossing serves as a model for investigating molecular & cellular principles in axon guidance Lecture 18 Synapse Formation Lessons from the NM]: Pre- and postsynaptic partners regulate & organize each other?s differentiation New synaptic components are organized in a series of discreet steps Most synaptic components develop on their own (i.e., independently of contact), but contact dictates the amount, location, and timing of their assembly at synaptic junctions Basal lamina (specialized extracellular matrix) plays an important role nACh receptors become clustered beneath motorneuron terminals via 3 mechanisms: a) lateral clustering of existing diffuse receptors; b) upregulation of gene expression for receptors by synaptically localized nuclei; suppression of gene expression in non-synaptically localized nuclei Regulation of synapse stability controls both the level of convergence and the level of divergence of synaptic connectivity CNS Synapses:
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