Small GTPase Rnd1 Is Involved in Neuronal Activity-Dependent Dendritic Development in Hippocampal Neurons

Neurosci Lett. 2006 Jun 12;400(3):218-23. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2006.02.064. Epub 2006 Mar 10.


Rho family small GTPases are key regulators for neuronal morphogenesis including dendritogenesis. We recently have shown that Rnd1, a member of the Rho family, is highly expressed in brain during the synaptogenic stage and is involved in dendritic spine formation. However, the mechanism by which Rnd1 regulates dendritic development including spine morphogenesis remains unknown. Here we report that Rnd1, a member of the Rho family, plays a critical role in neuronal activity-dependent dendritic development in hippocampal neurons. Overexpression of Rnd1 promoted dendritic growth and branching in cultured hippocampal neurons. On the other hand, suppression of endogenous Rnd1 expression by RNA interference significantly inhibited neuronal activity-dependent dendritic development and this inhibitory effect was canceled by inhibition of RhoA effector ROCK. In addition, knockdown of Rnd1 also abolished dendritic development promoted by treatment with brain-derived neurotrophic factor in hippocampal neurons. Our findings demonstrate that Rnd1 is involved in signaling pathways of neuronal activity-dependent dendritic development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure*
  • Hippocampus / embryology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Morphogenesis / physiology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Rats
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Rnd1 protein, rat
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins