Transient neurites of retinal horizontal cells exhibit columnar tiling via homotypic interactions

Rachel M. Huckfeldt, Timm Schubert, Josh L. Morgan, Leanne Godinho, Graziella Di Cristo, Z. Josh Huang, Rachel O.L. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Sensory neurons with common functions are often nonrandomly arranged and form dendritic territories that show little overlap, or tiling. Repulsive homotypic interactions underlie such patterns in cell organization in invertebrate neurons. It is unclear how dendro-dendritic repulsive interactions can produce a nonrandom distribution of cells and their spatial territories in mammalian retinal horizontal cells, as mature horizontal cell dendrites overlap substantially. By imaging developing mouse horizontal cells, we found that these cells transiently elaborate vertical neurites that form nonoverlapping columnar territories on reaching their final laminar positions. Targeted cell ablation revealed that the vertical neurites engage in homotypic interactions that result in tiling of neighboring cells before the establishment of their dendritic fields. This developmental tiling of transient neurites correlates with the emergence of a nonrandom distribution of the cells and could represent a mechanism that organizes neighbor relationships and territories of neurons before circuit assembly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


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