Electrical activity as a developmental regulator in the formation of spinal cord circuits.

Department of Physiology & Membrane Biology, and Shriners Hospital for Children Northern California, University of California Davis School of Medicine, 2425 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95819, United States.
Current opinion in neurobiology (Impact Factor: 7.21). 02/2012; 22(4):624-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2012.02.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Spinal cord development is a complex process involving generation of the appropriate number of cells, acquisition of distinctive phenotypes and establishment of functional connections that enable execution of critical functions such as sensation and locomotion. Here we review the basic cellular events occurring during spinal cord development, highlighting studies that demonstrate the roles of electrical activity in this process. We conclude that the participation of different forms of electrical activity is evident from the beginning of spinal cord development and intermingles with other developmental cues and programs to implement dynamic and integrated control of spinal cord function.

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