The molecular mechanisms that generate dendrites in the CNS are poorly understood. The diffusible signal molecule Slit and the neuronally expressed receptor Robo mediate growth cone collapse in vivo. However, in cultured neurons, these molecules promote dendritic development. Here we examine the aCC motoneuron, one of the first CNS neurons to generate dendrites in Drosophila. Slit displays a dynamic concentration topography that prefigures aCC dendrogenesis. Genetic deletion of Slit leads to complete loss of aCC dendrites. Robo is cell-autonomously required in aCC motoneurons to develop dendrites. Our results demonstrate that Slit and Robo control the development of dendrites in the embryonic CNS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology