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Underlying Principles of Motor System Organization Revealed

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Working in Drosophila, they examined motor neurons and the body wall muscles they innervate... With an eye toward understanding the mechanisms directing the assembly of the motor system, the researchers concentrated on the early stages of development, when the motor neurons first establish their characteristic dendritic territories... They found that the dendrites of motor neurons innervating internal muscles and that those innervating external muscles do in fact project into distinct regions, corresponding to the distinct mapping of the muscles themselves... Surprisingly, the arrangement of the dendrites in the myotopic map forms independently of the muscles they innervate... This organization, in the form of the myotopic map, may be mirrored by the patterning of processes of higher-order neurons, which form connections with the motor neuron dendrites themselves... In vertebrates, studies have shown that motor neurons are grouped into “pools” and “columns” that correlate with the muscles they innervate... But because these pools and columns represent the location of the cell bodies and not the areas of the spinal cord where the neurons receive most of their inputs, that is, their dendritic branches, scientists could not say whether the pools and columns are simply spandrels— an incidental result of the way motor neurons are generated—or mirror a functional organization of the motor system... This novel finding in Drosophila will pave the way for future studies on the relationship between anatomy and physiology during development... It will be particularly interesting to discover whether such myotopic arrangements of motor neuron dendrites are unique to insects or whether this organizational principle occurs in other motor systems, including vertebrates.

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Organization of Drosophila motorneurons and their target muscles
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pbio.0000056-g001: Organization of Drosophila motorneurons and their target muscles


Underlying Principles of Motor System Organization Revealed
Organization of Drosophila motorneurons and their target muscles
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC261893&req=5

pbio.0000056-g001: Organization of Drosophila motorneurons and their target muscles

View Article: PubMed Central

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

Working in Drosophila, they examined motor neurons and the body wall muscles they innervate... With an eye toward understanding the mechanisms directing the assembly of the motor system, the researchers concentrated on the early stages of development, when the motor neurons first establish their characteristic dendritic territories... They found that the dendrites of motor neurons innervating internal muscles and that those innervating external muscles do in fact project into distinct regions, corresponding to the distinct mapping of the muscles themselves... Surprisingly, the arrangement of the dendrites in the myotopic map forms independently of the muscles they innervate... This organization, in the form of the myotopic map, may be mirrored by the patterning of processes of higher-order neurons, which form connections with the motor neuron dendrites themselves... In vertebrates, studies have shown that motor neurons are grouped into “pools” and “columns” that correlate with the muscles they innervate... But because these pools and columns represent the location of the cell bodies and not the areas of the spinal cord where the neurons receive most of their inputs, that is, their dendritic branches, scientists could not say whether the pools and columns are simply spandrels— an incidental result of the way motor neurons are generated—or mirror a functional organization of the motor system... This novel finding in Drosophila will pave the way for future studies on the relationship between anatomy and physiology during development... It will be particularly interesting to discover whether such myotopic arrangements of motor neuron dendrites are unique to insects or whether this organizational principle occurs in other motor systems, including vertebrates.

No MeSH data available.