Filopodial Dynamics and Growth Cone Stabilization in Drosophila Visual Circuit Development

Ozel, M.N., Langen, M., Hassan, B.A. and Hiesinger, P.R.— 2015

Filopodial dynamics are thought to control growth cone guidance, but the types and roles of growth cone dynamics underlying neural circuit assembly in a living brain are largely unknown. To address this issue, we have developed long-term, continuous, fast and high-resolution imaging of growth cone dynamics from axon growth to synapse formation in cultured Drosophila brains. Using R7 photoreceptor neurons as a model we show that >90% of the growth cone filopodia exhibit fast, stochastic dynamics that persist despite ongoing stepwise layer formation. Correspondingly, R7 growth cones stabilize early and change their final position by passive dislocation. N-Cadherin controls both fast filopodial dynamics and growth cone stabilization. Surprisingly, loss of N-Cadherin causes no primary targeting defects, but destabilizes R7 growth cones to jump between correct and incorrect layers. Hence, growth cone dynamics can influence wiring specificity without a direct role in target recognition and implement simple rules during circuit assembly.

TitleFilopodial Dynamics and Growth Cone Stabilization in Drosophila Visual Circuit Development
AuthorOzel, M.N., Langen, M., Hassan, B.A. and Hiesinger, P.R.
PublishereLife Sciences Publications
SubjectD. melanogaster; brain development; filopodial dynamics; growth cone; live Imaging; neuroscience; synapse formation
Date20151029
Identifierdoi: 10.7554/eLife.10721
Source(s)
Appeared IneLife 2015;4:e10721
Languageeng
TypeText
Rights© 2015, Özel et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.