Review Articles

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  • Fibroblasts in the CNS have been assigned a role in fibrotic scar formation in response to injury and inflammation but might perform additional roles attributed to other cell types. In this Review, Dorrier and colleagues discuss the available evidence regarding fibroblast functions in the CNS.

    • Cayce E. Dorrier
    • Hannah E. Jones
    • Richard Daneman
    Review Article
  • The sympathetic regulation of bodily functions relies on precise connections between sympathetic neurons and peripheral organs. In this Review, Scott-Solomon and colleagues discuss the mechanisms underlying the development of the sympathetic nervous system and provide insight into disorders regulated by this branch of the nervous system.

    • Emily Scott-Solomon
    • Erica Boehm
    • Rejji Kuruvilla
    Review Article
  • Male-only studies predominate preclinical research on anxiety and depression. In this Review, Bangasser and Cuarenta discuss how, since the inclusion of female subjects, new mechanisms have been identified that underlie vulnerability to these disorders, and that reveal novel targets for treatments.

    • Debra A. Bangasser
    • Amelia Cuarenta
    Review Article
  • Neural circuits in the mammalian central nervous system are modified in response to neural activity during development. In this Review, Faust and colleagues provide an overview of the mechanisms underlying developmental synaptic pruning and how alterations in this process can occur in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.

    • Travis E. Faust
    • Georgia Gunner
    • Dorothy P. Schafer
    Review Article
  • The 'new head' hypothesis proposes that the advent of the neural crest and cranial placodes was crucial for the evolution of vertebrates. In this Review, Martik and Bronner discuss this hypothesis and how emerging data about gene regulatory networks in neural crest-like cell types in invertebrate chordates are providing insights into neural crest evolution.

    • Megan L. Martik
    • Marianne E. Bronner
    Review Article
  • Human pluripotent stem cell-derived in vitro models have potential as tools to study aspects of human brain development. Here, Heilshorn and colleagues review biomaterial-based approaches that may be integrated into these models in an effort to develop them further and better recapitulate neurodevelopmental processes.

    • Julien G. Roth
    • Michelle S. Huang
    • Sarah C. Heilshorn
    Review Article
  • Many studies implicate a prefrontal–basal ganglia circuit in the control of action-stopping. Here, Ricci Hannah and Adam Aron provide an update of studies of this circuit, discuss its clinical relevance, and consider whether its action-stopping function applies in real-world scenarios, beyond the laboratory.

    • Ricci Hannah
    • Adam R. Aron
    Review Article
  • Mammalian skin contains an array of specialized structures that transform mechanical forces into electrical signals. Handler and Ginty provide a comprehensive overview of the features of the skin’s mechanosensory end organs and the neurons with which they associate and consider how their diverse properties contribute to the sense of touch.

    • Annie Handler
    • David D. Ginty
    Review Article
  • The brain is particularly susceptible to injury after ischaemia; however, emerging evidence suggests that, under certain conditions, it may show more resilience. Daniele et al. review the effects of ischaemia on the brain and efforts to study and protect the post-ischaemic brain.

    • Stefano G. Daniele
    • Georg Trummer
    • Nenad Sestan
    Review Article
  • The capacity to navigate to a previously encountered or predicted reward, such as food or safety, is crucial for survival. Here, Sosa and Giocomo examine the neural mechanisms that encode reward location and propose key roles for the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex in storing and retrieving reward-related information in the brain.

    • Marielena Sosa
    • Lisa M. Giocomo
    Review Article
  • Neocortical circuits imparting specificity and causality to pain are not well understood. In this Review, Kuner and Tan discuss new insights into the contributions of diverse cerebral domains, their connectivity and their plasticity to the sensory and emotional aspects of pain.

    • Linette Liqi Tan
    • Rohini Kuner
    Review Article
  • Dendritic spines can be considered to embody algorithms that underlie various brain functions. Here, Kasai et al. review spine dynamics and their roles in various brain functions, compare these dynamics with parallels in machine learning and describe how disrupted dynamics may contribute to mental disorders.

    • Haruo Kasai
    • Noam E. Ziv
    • Taro Toyoizumi
    Review Article
  • Acute cannabis exposure modulates numerous aspects of neurocognitive function; however, the effects experienced by individuals are highly variable. Ramaekers and colleagues here review the neural basis of cannabis-induced neurocognitive changes and response variability, and consider the legal, therapeutic and societal implications.

    • Johannes G. Ramaekers
    • Natasha L. Mason
    • Eef L. Theunissen
    Review Article
  • Sociopolitical changes regarding cannabis and its potential harm for vulnerable populations raise concern as more pregnant women and teens use cannabis. Hurd and colleagues discuss neurobiological effects of cannabis exposure during development and highlight an epigenetic link for synaptic reprogramming.

    • Anissa Bara
    • Jacqueline-Marie N. Ferland
    • Yasmin L. Hurd
    Review Article
  • The neocortex and the thalamus are connected by looping circuits, enabling cortical function. In this Review, Gordon Shepherd and Naoki Yamawaki examine the patterns of connectivity between the major types of cortical and thalamic neurons and how these cortico-thalamo-cortical loops relate to corticocortical circuits.

    • Gordon M. G. Shepherd
    • Naoki Yamawaki
    Review Article
  • The impairment of brain fluid homeostasis is a feature of various conditions, highlighting the need to better understand brain water transport for drug development. Here, Nanna MacAulay reviews the molecular mechanisms underlying transmembrane water movement in neurons and glia and across brain barriers, emphasizing the part played by water cotransporters in this process.

    • Nanna MacAulay
    Review Article
  • Dopamine is often portrayed as a diffuse, slow neuromodulator, yet such signalling cannot explain its broad and sometimes rapid roles. Here, Liu, Goel and Kaeser review recent insights into dopamine release and receptors and present a new framework — the domain-overlap model — for dopamine signalling.

    • Changliang Liu
    • Pragya Goel
    • Pascal S. Kaeser
    Review Article
  • Ion channel dysfunctions contribute significantly to fragile X pathophysiology. In this Review, Deng and Klyachko discuss the mechanisms underlying the effects of these channelopathies in fragile X syndrome, and the therapeutic potential of pharmacological interventions that target ion channels.

    • Pan-Yue Deng
    • Vitaly A. Klyachko
    Review Article
  • Different voltage-gated sodium channels contribute to the transmission of painful information. In this Review, Goodwin and McMahon ask which channels are involved in nociceptor transduction, transmission and transmitter release and why individuals with Nav1.7 null mutations have a painless phenotype.

    • George Goodwin
    • Stephen B. McMahon
    Review Article
  • Dysfunctional GABAergic signalling is common to various neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). Tang, Jaenisch and Sur give an overview of the contribution of GABA signalling dysfunction to NDD aetiology and examine how mechanistic insights into such disruption can be used to advance treatments for NDDs.

    • Xin Tang
    • Rudolf Jaenisch
    • Mriganka Sur
    Review Article