The establishment of a dendritic tree is a highly dynamic process characterized by extension and retraction of branches, followed by stabilization of existing dendrites and synaptic connections. To properly cover the receptive fields, all of these processes are tightly coordinated at all time points. Recent in vivo studies suggest that several signaling pathways, including Hippo pathway and epigenetic mechanisms, play important roles in maintenance of matured dendrites. This review focuses on the current molecular understanding of how established dendritic fields in functional neuronal circuits are maintained in the brain. The relevance of this knowledge to the pathological mechanisms underlying some neurodegenerative disorders is also discussed.
Current opinion in neurobiology 05/2012; DOI:10.1016/j.conb.2012.04.005 · 6.77 Impact Factor