Neurotrophin regulation of cortical dendritic growth requires activity

A Kimberley Usrey, Lawrence C. Katz, Donald C. Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

413 Scopus citations


Neurotrophins have been proposed to mediate several forms of activity- dependent competition in the central nervous system. A key element of such hypotheses is that neurotrophins act preferentially on active neurons; however, little direct evidence supports this postulate. We therefore examined, in ferret cortical brain slices, the interactions between activity and neurotrophins in regulating dendritic growth of layer 4 pyramidal neurons. Inhibition of spontaneous electrical activity, synaptic transmission, or L-type calcium channels each prevented the otherwise dramatic increase in dendritic arborizations elicited by brain-derived neurotrophic factor. In developing cortex, this requirement for conjoint neurotrophin signaling and activity provides a mechanism for selectively enhancing the growth and connectivity of active neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1064
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Neurotrophin regulation of cortical dendritic growth requires activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this