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"The activity of sensory cells modifies neurons"


Fri, 09/07/2010 - 16:14

"The activity of sensory cells modifies neurons"


Researchers from the Sensory Cell Biology and Organogenesis group of the CRG, led by Hernan López-Schier, have discovered that the activity of sensory cells is able to modify the structure of the neurons, as other intrinsic elements of the cell and gene information do. The study has analyzed the sensory cells of the lateral line of zebrafish, which is equivalent to the ear of vertebrates. They found that complexity and stability of the peripheral neural arbors depends on sensorial activity. However, the neuronal central axons are able to develop equally without external stimulus.

The study, signed by Adele Faucherre as first author and published in Development, has been possible thanks to the design of a new method that allows to easily analyze 3D pictures in movement in a quantitative point of view. This system facilitates the study of the dynamic of neurons and the structure of their branching.

Reference work: ″Multispectral four-dimensional imaging reveals that evoked activity modulates peripheral arborization and the selection of plane-polarized targets by sensory neurons″. Faucherre, A., Baudoin, J-P., Pujol-Martí, J. and López-Schier, H. Development 137(10): 1635-1643, 2010.