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Synaptic remodeling, lessons from C. elegans.


Cuentas-Condori AAndrea , Miller Rd DMDavid M . Journal of neurogenetics. 2020 8 18; (). 1-16


Sydney Brenner’s choice of as a model organism for understanding the nervous system has accelerated discoveries of gene function in neural circuit development and behavior. In this review, we discuss a striking example of synaptic remodeling in the motor circuit in which DD class motor neurons effectively reverse polarity as presynaptic and postsynaptic domains at opposite ends of the DD neurite switch locations. Originally revealed by EM reconstruction conducted over 40 years ago, DD remodeling has since been investigated by live cell imaging methods that exploit the power of genetics to reveal key effectors of synaptic plasticity. Although synapses are also extensively rewired in developing mammalian circuits, the underlying remodeling mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we highlight the possibility that studies in can reveal pathways that orchestrate synaptic remodeling in more complex organisms. Specifically, we describe (1) transcription factors that regulate DD remodeling, (2) the cellular and molecular cascades that drive synaptic remodeling and (3) examples of circuit modifications in vertebrate neurons that share some similarities with synaptic remodeling in DD neurons.