Dendritic patterning exerts a profound influence on neuronal connectivity. Recent studies indicate that mammalian Notch receptors are expressed by postmitotic neurons and that Notch signaling has a considerable influence on dendritic growth and branching. Investigations into the intracellular effectors of dendritic development have revealed that dendritic growth and branching are differentially affected by activation of the Rho-family GTPases, RhoA, Rac1, and Cdc42. These observations suggest that the differential activation of Notch receptors and Rho-family GTPases by extracellular signals may be important in the generation of morphological diversity in the developing nervous system.
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