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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Molecules that make axons grow.


The study of neurite growth in tissue culture has been a productive way to identify substances that may control the behavior of axons in vivo. Molecules that promote the outgrowth of neurites include nerve growth factor, laminin, fibronectin, and a protease inhibitor derived from glia. Evidence that these molecules may influence axon growth and guidance in vivo is discussed. The effects these molecules have at the cellular level are compared, in an attempt to identify common mechanisms of action. Several less well-characterized molecules that influence the behavior of neurites are also discussed.

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