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Third-party-funded project

Mechanisms underlying the differential effect of laminin and merosin on axon growth in embryonic motoneurons

Project management at the University of Würzburg:

Participating scientists:

Laminin and merosin differentially modulate neurite outgrowth. We found that Ca2+ levels are specifically reduced in axons but not cell bodies and dendrites of motoneurons when cultured on merosin, and that the frequency of phase Ca2+ transients in growth counts is at least four times higher on merosin than on laminin. Blockade of voltage-gated Ca2+ channel abolishes the differences in axonal Ca2+ and axon growth. Interestingly, merosin did not affect dendrite growth and dendritic Ca2+, indicating that the effects are axon-specific. We conclude that the contact of growing motor axons the synapse specific laminin isoforms enhances the excitability of motoneurons and thus induces a maturation program which shuts down the capacity to grow out long and unbranched axons.

Key words:
    Neurite outgrowth
    Motor endplate

Projekt period: from 01.2000 to 12.2002

Funding institution:
Landeshaushalt Wissenschaftsministerium ( Bayer. Prionen-Verbund ) ,Granting date: 01.07.2001
DFG ( Schwerpunktprogramm )
DFG ( Schwerpunktprogramm )

Preceding project:
DFG Se 697/2-2 SPP


Institute for Clinical Neurobiology