Department of Genetics

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Papers Published in Developmental Cell and eLife

The nervous system is a network of interconnected nerve cells that transmit and receive information from other nerve cells through axons and dendrites, respectively. Many psychiatric conditions such as autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia are believed to be the result of incorrect nervous system assembly. Therefore, understanding how a nervous system is established and how axons and dendrites are patterned is key for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Two recent papers from the Buelow lab provide new insight on how dendrites, the receiving structures of all nerve cells, develop. In one study, published in the journal Developmental Cell (https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1YTf85Sx5gc1Mt), Nelson Ramirez-Suarez and colleagues could show that axons have a crucial role in shaping and maintaining the structure of dendrites of other neurons. In a second study, published in the journal eLife (https://elifesciences.org/articles/38949), Leo Tang and Carlos Diaz-Balzac with their collaborators shed light on how intracellular signaling pathways convert the molecular signals that are sensed by developing dendrites into stereotypic patterns. Together, these studies advance our understanding of nervous system assembly and open up new avenues for further research.

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