Neurons in the fly can radically remold their cytoskeleton to rebuild a severed axon -- a finding that might provide clues to how neurons recover from injury, researchers reported yesterday at the American Society for Cell Biology meeting in San Diego.
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To rebuild the severed axon, neurons in the fly ramp up their production of microtubules -- the main structural elements of the cytoskeleton -- and recreate the microtubules characteristic of the axon in a nearby part of the cell. Neurons are strongly polarized cells: a neuron's single axon transmits information, while its multitude of branches, or dendrites, receive information, either in the form of electrical signals from the axons of other nearby neurons, or from input such as a touch to the skin, or other sensory or mechanical stimulation. Without an axon, the cell's chief output organ, the cell will die. One element maintaining their polarity linkurl:appears...
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