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New book highlights the cellular and molecular determinants of brain wiring

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. (Jan. 6, 2011) -- During the development of the nervous system, precise and complex connections are made among neurons. These connections are determined by external molecular cues that influence the direction in which neurons grow. This process of directed growth, called neuronal guidance, is the focus of a new book from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Neuronal Guidance: The Biology of Brain Wiring reviews the tremendous progress that has been made in scientists' understanding of neuronal guidance in recent years. "Our goal in compiling this volume is to provide a reasonably comprehensive perspective on what is known about the major neuronal guidance events," write the editors, Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Alex L. Kolodkin, in the preface.

The 20 chapters of the book, all written by leading experts, are divided into three sections. Chapters in the first section describe the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms that determine axonal and dendritic branching patterns, and the roles of molecular guidance cues and their receptors in those processes. The second section focuses on intracellular signaling events that guide neuronal processes. The last section describes the involvement of axon guidance signaling molecules in other cellular processes.

"What emerges from these chapters is a rich understanding of numerous aspects of neuronal circuit morphogenesis," write the editors. "But they also highlight the many gaps in our knowledge . . . It is our hope that the present volume will serve as a useful reference point as investigators plan their attack on these outstanding questions."

The book will be useful to neurobiologists, as well as to cell and developmental biologists.


Contact: Liz Powers
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Page: 1

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