The Endoplasmic Reticulum and Its Contacts: Emerging Roles in Axon Development, Neurotransmission, and Degeneration

Neuroscientist. 2023 Mar 24:10738584231162810. doi: 10.1177/10738584231162810. Online ahead of print.


The neuronal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) consists of a dynamic, tubular network that extends all the way from the soma into dendrites, axons, and synapses. This morphology gives rise to an enormous membrane surface area that, through the presence of tethering proteins, lipid transfer proteins, and ion channels, plays critical roles in local calcium regulation, membrane dynamics, and the supply of ions and lipids to other organelles. Here, we summarize recent advances that highlight the various roles of the neuronal ER in axonal growth, repair, and presynaptic function. We review the variety of contact sites between the ER and other axonal organelles and describe their influence on neurodevelopment and neurotransmission.

Keywords: axon; calcium; endoplasmic reticulum; lipids; membrane contact sites; neurodegeneration; neurodevelopment; neuron; neurotransmission.

Publication types

  • Review