- Poster presentation
- Open Access
The functional significance of fasciculation and repulsion in a computational model of axon growth
© Merrison-Hort et al. 2015
- Published: 18 December 2015
- Neuron Model
- Axon Growth
- Axon Regeneration
- Physiological Model
- Synaptic Connectivity
In this poster we demonstrate the effects of adding axon fasciculation and repulsion mechanisms to our growth model. Axon fasciculation is a process whereby a developing axon can detect the presence of another nearby axon and begin to grow along the existing axon; repulsion is the opposite process, where axons actively avoid each other. Both fasciculation and repulsion have been observed in the growth of commissural axons in the spinal cord of very early stage tadpoles , so we sought to use our computational model to investigate the possible function of these processes. The existing model was adjusted such that the growth angle of each axon contained an additional term based on the influence of nearby axons. This influence could be attractive or repulsive, and could vary based on the current position of the axon tip, since it appears that commissural axons change from repulsion to fasciculation after crossing the ventral mid-line. Adding these processes to the model caused dramatic changes to the pattern of axonal trajectories that were immediately visible (Figure 1), as well as quantitative changes to various anatomical characteristics, such as the total number of synapses formed. This poster shows the effects that fasciculation and repulsion have on both the generated anatomy and the dynamical behavior of the spiking neuron model, and discusses the possible biological and medical significance of these results (e.g. for axon regeneration).
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