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Neuronal development is the biological process by which neurons are produced during development. The processes that contribute to neuronal development include proliferation, differentiation, migration, axon guidance and synapse formation.
Purkinje cells (PCs) receive signals from different inputs through their extensively branched dendrites and dysregulation of this process leads to ataxia and other diseases. Here the authors show that the LIM-homeodomain transcription factors Lhx1 and Lhx5 govern dendritogenesis and dendritic spine morphogenesis in postnatal PCs through regulating Espin expression.
Prenatal exposure to environmental stressors is known to impair cortical development. Here the authors show that upon exposure to stressors, the activation of Hsf1-Hsp signalling is highly variable among cells in the embryonic cortex of mice, and either too much or too little activation can result in defects in cortical development.
Development of neural circuits for face recognition is not well studied in primates. Here the authors longitudinally track responses to faces in monkeys from about a month of age to two years and demonstrate that face-selective responses emerge in inferotemporal cortex early and gradually stabilize over time.
Shi et al. performed a systematic clonal analysis and revealed an intricate ontogenetic logic of structural development and functional organization of the mammalian thalamus. Notably, neurons in cognitive versus sensory or motor nuclei as well as in first-order versus high-order sensory or motor nuclei across different modalities exhibit distinct progenitor origin and spatial configuration.
Representations in excitatory neurons generally narrow as they are refined. Odor representations in interneurons, however, broaden with maturation and learning, as connections between interneurons and projection neurons expand.
The genetic programmes involved in axonal pruning during development are poorly elucidated but are shown to involve a balance between the anti-apoptotic protein DUSP16 and the pro-degenerative protein PUMA.