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In vivo dendrite regeneration after injury is different from dendrite development


Neurons receive information along dendrites and send signals along axons to synaptic contacts. The factors that control axon regeneration have been examined in many systems, but dendrite regeneration has been largely unexplored. Here we report that, in intact Drosophila larvae, a discrete injury that removes all dendrites induces robust dendritic growth that recreates many features of uninjured dendrites, including the number of dendrite branches that regenerate and responsiveness to sensory stimuli. However, the growth and patterning of injury-induced dendrites is significantly different from uninjured dendrites. We found that regenerated arbors cover much less territory than uninjured neurons, fail to avoid crossing over other branches from the same neuron, respond less strongly to mechanical stimuli, and are pruned precociously. Finally, silencing the electrical activity of the neurons specifically blocks injury-induced, but not developmental, dendrite growth. By elucidating the essential features of dendrites grown in response to acute injury, our work builds a framework for exploring dendrite regeneration in physiological and pathological conditions.

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