November 24, 2020

Achieving functional neuronal dendrite structure through sequential stochastic growth and retraction

Class I ventral posterior dendritic arborisation (c1vpda) proprioceptive sensory neurons respond to contractions in the Drosophila larval body wall during crawling. Their dendritic branches run along the direction of contraction, possibly a functional requirement to maximise membrane curvature during crawling contractions. Although the molecular machinery of dendritic patterning in c1vpda has been extensively studied, the process leading to the precise elaboration of their comb-like shapes remains elusive. Here, to link dendrite shape with its proprioceptive role, we performed long-term, non-invasive, in vivo time-lapse imaging of c1vpda embryonic and larval morphogenesis to reveal a sequence of differentiation stages. We combined computer models and dendritic branch dynamics tracking to propose that distinct sequential phases of targeted growth and stochastic retraction achieve efficient dendritic trees both in terms of wire and function. Our study shows how dendrite growth balances structure–function requirements, shedding new light on general principles of self-organisation in functionally specialised dendrites.In brief An optimal wire and function trade-off emerges from noisy growth and stochastic retraction during Drosophila class I ventral posterior dendritic arborisation (c1vpda) dendrite development.HighlightsC1vpda dendrite outgrowth follows wire constraints.Stochastic retraction of functionally suboptimal branches in a subsequent growth phase.C1vpda growth rules favour branches running parallel to larval body wall contraction.Comprehensive growth model reproduces c1vpda development in silico.Highlights
Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.View Full Text

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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