Developing axons continue to grow at their tip after synapsing with their appropriate target

Ellen McGlade-McCulloh, Kenneth J Muller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The contacts a growing neuron's axon makes with its synaptic targets are believed to inhibit further growth at the axon tip. Inhibition of axon growth has been difficult to examine in vivo, where studies have focused on populations of neurons with multiple targets, making the influence of a single target difficult to determine. Results of a direct test of the influence of synapse formation on axon growth are presented for the axon of the S interneuron in the leech, which has a single synaptic target that can decidedly inhibit growth at the axon's tip during regeneration in adults. Surprisingly, in embryos, after synapsing with its target, each S cell axon grew for several days, including growth at its tip, nearly doubling its length. Therefore, synaptic contact with the target does not stop further growth at the axon's tip.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1068
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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