Author(s): Matus A
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Abstract 1. The assembly of microtubules is essential for the maintenance of both the extension and the radial symmetry of axons and dendrites. Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) are implicated in this function because they promote tubulin polymerization and because they appear to be involved in cross-linking microtubules in the neuritic cytoplasm. 2. In a variety of species high molecular weight MAP2 is found only in dendrites and MAP tau is found only is axons, indicating that certain MAPs are associated with specific aspects of neuronal morphology. 3. All neuronal MAPs that have been studied are under strong developmental regulation with either their form or abundance changing between developing and adult brain. In both rat and Xenopus the change from "early" to "late" MAP forms occurs concurrently with the cessation of axon and dendrite growth and the maturation of neuronal morphology. 4. In situations where neuronal growth persists in the adult, such as retinal photoreceptor cells and the olfactory system, "early" MAPs continue to be expressed in the adult brain. 5. These results implicate MAPs in neuronal morphogenesis and suggest that "early" MAPs are involved in axon and dendrite growth whereas the "late" MAPs are involved in the stabilization of their mature form.
This article was published in J Physiol (Paris)
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy