Coordination of neurite morphogenesis with surrounding tissues is crucial to the establishment of neural circuits, but the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. We show that neurons in a C. elegans sensory organ, called the amphid, undergo a collective dendrite extension to form the sensory nerve. The amphid neurons first assemble into a multicellular rosette. The vertex of the rosette, which becomes the dendrite tips, is attached to the anteriorly migrating epidermis and carried to the sensory depression, extruding the dendrites away from the neuronal cell bodies. Multiple adhesion molecules including DYF-7, SAX-7, HMR-1 and DLG-1 function redundantly in rosette-to-epidermis attachment. PAR-6 is localized to the rosette vertex and dendrite tips, and promotes DYF-7 localization and dendrite extension. Our results suggest a collective mechanism of neurite extension that is distinct from the classical pioneer-follower model and highlight the role of mechanical cues from surrounding tissues in shaping neurites.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Zhirong Bao
- Zhirong Bao
- Maxwell G Heiman
The authors declare that the funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Oliver Hobert, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University, United States
© 2019, Fan et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.