Topology recapitulates morphogenesis of neuronal dendrites

  • Branching allows neurons to make synaptic contacts with large numbers of other neurons, facilitating the high connectivity of nervous systems. Neuronal arbors have geometric properties such as branch lengths and diameters that are optimal in that they maximize signaling speeds while minimizing construction costs. In this work, we asked whether neuronal arbors have topological properties that may also optimize their growth or function. We discovered that for a wide range of invertebrate and vertebrate neurons the distributions of their subtree sizes follow power laws, implying that they are scale invariant. The power-law exponent distinguishes different neuronal cell types. Postsynaptic spines and branchlets perturb scale invariance. Through simulations, we show that the subtree-size distribution depends on the symmetry of the branching rules governing arbor growth and that optimal morphologies are scale invariant. Thus, the subtree-size distribution is a topological property that recapitulates the functional morphology of dendrites.

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Author:Maijia LiaoORCiD, Alex D. BirdORCiD, Hermann CuntzORCiDGND, Jonathon HowardORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Cell reports
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2023/10/28
Date of first Publication:2023/10/28
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/11/06
Tag:branching; dendrite; morphology; power law; scale invariance; topology
Issue:11, art. 113268
Article Number:113268
Page Number:18
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International