From Neural Tube Formation Through the Differentiation of Spinal Cord Neurons: Ion Channels in Action During Neural Development

Raman Goyal, Kira A. Spencer, Laura N. Borodinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Ion channels are expressed throughout nervous system development. The type and diversity of conductances and gating mechanisms vary at different developmental stages and with the progressive maturational status of neural cells. The variety of ion channels allows for distinct signaling mechanisms in developing neural cells that in turn regulate the needed cellular processes taking place during each developmental period. These include neural cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation, which are crucial for developmental events ranging from the earliest steps of morphogenesis of the neural tube through the establishment of neuronal circuits. Here, we compile studies assessing the ontogeny of ionic currents in the developing nervous system. We then review work demonstrating a role for ion channels in neural tube formation, to underscore the necessity of the signaling downstream ion channels even at the earliest stages of neural development. We discuss the function of ion channels in neural cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation and conclude with how the regulation of all these morphogenetic and cellular processes by electrical activity enables the appropriate development of the nervous system and the establishment of functional circuits adapted to respond to a changing environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number62
JournalFrontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 24 2020

Keywords

  • glutamate signaling
  • motor neuron differentiation
  • neural cell proliferation
  • neural tube formation
  • neuronal differentiation
  • NMDA receptor
  • spinal cord development
  • TRPM8

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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