Development and plasticity of the nervous system critically depends on the neuronal cytoskeleton. The organization and dynamic remodeling of the neuronal cytoskeleton contributes to all morphological and functional changes in neurons, including migration, polarization, axon outgrowth, dendrite development and synapse formation. The neuronal cytoskeleton provides tracks for intracellular transport, sets up local cues to position organelles, acts as a signaling device and generates cellular forces that are fundamental to all aspects of neuronal function. Cytoskeleton remodeling and axonal trafficking have emerged as one of the most exciting and rapidly moving fields in cellular neurobiology. This field is experiencing a revolution in molecular, genetic and imaging technologies for analysing the dynamics of these processes during neuronal development and plasticity. The study of the molecular mechanisms of cytoskeletal dynamics and neuronal trafficking are also key to understanding what goes wrong in many neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases.
With participation of Mireille Montcouquiol