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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.
By capturing and manipulating the self-organizing capacity of pluripotent stem cells, researchers have established protocols for the production of in vitro brain-like 'organoids'. Di Lullo and Kriegstein evaluate approaches to organoid generation and consider their potential as models of brain development and disease.
Developmental neuroscientists have long asked if clonally-related neurons retain functional relationships after maturation. The authors show that sparsely labelled neocortical interneurons in clusters with high possibility of clonal relation preferentially form electrical, but not chemical, synapses.
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.