Development of dendritic form and function

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2015;31:741-77. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-100913-013020. Epub 2015 Sep 29.


The nervous system is populated by numerous types of neurons, each bearing a dendritic arbor with a characteristic morphology. These type-specific features influence many aspects of a neuron's function, including the number and identity of presynaptic inputs and how inputs are integrated to determine firing properties. Here, we review the mechanisms that regulate the construction of cell type-specific dendrite patterns during development. We focus on four aspects of dendrite patterning that are particularly important in determining the function of the mature neuron: (a) dendrite shape, including branching pattern and geometry of the arbor; (b) dendritic arbor size;

Keywords: dendrite; neural development; self-avoidance; synapse formation; tiling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Pairing / physiology
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Humans