PubMed 22587886

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir2.1 , Kv1.1

Title: Neural activity and branching of embryonic retinal ganglion cell dendrites.

Authors: J C Hocking, N S Pollock, J Johnston, R J A Wilson, A Shankar, S McFarlane

Journal, date & volume: Mech. Dev., 2012 Jul , 129, 125-35

PubMed link:

The shape of a neuron's dendritic arbor is critical for its function as it determines the number of inputs the neuron can receive and how those inputs are processed. During development, a neuron initiates primary dendrites that branch to form a simple arbor. Subsequently, growth occurs by a process that combines the extension and retraction of existing dendrites, and the addition of new branches. The loss and addition of the fine terminal branches of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) is dependent on afferent inputs from its synaptic partners, the amacrine and bipolar cells. It is unknown, however, whether neural activity regulates the initiation of primary dendrites and their initial branching. To investigate this, Xenopus laevis RGCs developing in vivo were made to express either a delayed rectifier type voltage-gated potassium (KV) channel, Xenopus Kv1.1, or a human inward rectifying channel, Kir2.1, shown previously to modulate the electrical activity of Xenopus spinal cord neurons. Misexpression of either potassium channel increased the number of branch points and the total length of all the branches. As a result, the total dendritic arbor was bigger than for control green fluorescent protein-expressing RGCs and those ectopically expressing a highly related mutant non-functional Kv1.1 channel. Our data indicate that membrane excitability regulates the earliest differentiation of RGC dendritic arbors.