Assisted morphogenesis: glial control of dendrite shapes

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2010 Oct;22(5):560-5. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Aug 2.


Neurons display a myriad of dendritic architectures, reflecting their diverse roles in information processing and transduction in the nervous system. Recent findings suggest that neuronal signals may not account for all aspects of dendrite morphogenesis. Observations from C. elegans and other organisms suggest that glial cells can affect dendrite length and guidance, as well as localization and shapes of dendritic receptive structures, such as dendritic spines and sensory cilia. Thus, besides direct roles in controlling neuronal activity, glia contribute to neuron function by ensuring that neurons attain their proper shapes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Morphogenesis*
  • Neuroglia / physiology*