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Plos Biology : Development of Axon-target Specificity of Ponto- Cerebellar Afferents, Volume 9

By Public Library of Science (Plos)

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Book Id: WPLBN0003952171
Format Type: PDF eBook :
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Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Plos Biology : Development of Axon-target Specificity of Ponto- Cerebellar Afferents, Volume 9  
Author: Public Library of Science (Plos)
Volume: Volume 9
Language: English
Subject: Journals, Science, Biology
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), PLoS Biology
Publication Date:
Publisher: Plos


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Of Science (Plos), P. L. (n.d.). Plos Biology : Development of Axon-target Specificity of Ponto- Cerebellar Afferents, Volume 9. Retrieved from

Description : The function of neuronal networks relies on selective assembly of synaptic connections during development. We examined how synaptic specificity emerges in the pontocerebellar projection. Analysis of axon-target interactions with correlated light-electron microscopy revealed that developing pontine mossy fibers elaborate extensive cell-cell contacts and synaptic connections with Purkinje cells, an inappropriate target. Subsequently, mossy fiber–Purkinje cell connections are eliminated resulting in granule cell-specific mossy fiber connectivity as observed in mature cerebellar circuits. Formation of mossy fiber- Purkinje cell contacts is negatively regulated by Purkinje cell-derived BMP4. BMP4 limits mossy fiber growth in vitro and Purkinje cell-specific ablation of BMP4 in mice results in exuberant mossy fiber–Purkinje cell interactions. These findings demonstrate that synaptic specificity in the pontocerebellar projection is achieved through a stepwise mechanism that entails transient innervation of Purkinje cells, followed by synapse elimination. Moreover, this work establishes BMP4 as a retrograde signal that regulates the axon-target interactions during development.


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