Guidance of axons and innervation of cortical structures

David J. Price and David J. Willshaw

in Mechanisms of Cortical Development

Published in print April 2000 | ISBN: 9780192624277
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723735 | DOI:

Series: Monographs of the Physiological Society

Guidance of axons and innervation of cortical structures

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To create the nervous system, precise synaptic connections must form between cells. This process involves the outgrowth of axons, their travel to distant sites, and their innervation of target structures. Axons travel together in discrete bundles, which in the adult can be several centimetres long. However, at the time of axonal outgrowth the distances to be travelled are very much shorter than this. There is a range of possible types of mechanism which can yield guidance with differing degrees of precision. This chapter examines the mechanisms for axon guidance, cortical connections in the adult brain, observations on the development of cortical connections, geniculocortical development, corticofugal and corticocortical systems, mechanisms controlling the development of axonal connections, the biochemistry of growth cones, genetic analysis of axonal guidance in non-mammalian species, and mechanisms of axonal guidance in the cerebral cortex.

Keywords: cerebral cortex; axons; innervation; growth cones; axonal guidance; biochemistry; brain; cortical development; axonal connections

Chapter.  11844 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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