Stimulus History Alters Behavioral Responses of Neuronal Growth Cones

These results demonstrate that growth cones can alter their behavioral response rapidly to a given stimulus in a manner dependent on previous history and that knowledge of past events in growth cone navigation may be required to predict future growth cone behavior

Thomas J. Diefenbach


Scholarcy highlights

  • It is assumed that growth cones respond to a specific guidance cue with a single, specific, and stereotyped behavior
  • The experiments described below provide a direct test of the hypothesis that previous exposure to a stimulus can alter the responses of growth cones to subsequent stimulation
  • Growth cone responses to sequential encounters with laminin-coated beads Growth cones advancing on a fibronectin substrate display a stereotyped behavioral response to contact with a laminin-coated bead
  • The results described here suggest that stimulus history may be an important factor for determining the relationship between information provided by an individual stimulus and the resultant response of a growth cone
  • The findings reported here might well be generalized to encompass many classes of guidance cues relevant to growth cone pathfinding
  • Longer duration stimulation resulted in a slightly higher rate of collapse but with significantly fewer growth cones recovering as compared with the 10 min stimulation
  • In this way the immediate local environment that previously was thought to be the primary determinant of growth cone behavior may become only one part of a guidance equation that relies on the precise and cumulative contributions of previous cues

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