The acquisition of proper dendrite morphology is a crucial aspect of neuronal development towards the formation of a functional network. The role of the extracellular matrix and its cellular receptors in this process has remained enigmatic. We report that the CD44 adhesion molecule, the main hyaluronan receptor, is localized in dendrites and plays a crucial inhibitory role in dendritic tree arborization in vitro and in vivo. This novel function is exerted by the activation of Src tyrosine kinase, leading to the alteration of Golgi morphology. The mechanism operates during normal brain development, but its inhibition might have a protective influence on dendritic trees under toxic conditions, during which the silencing of CD44 expression prevents dendritic shortening induced by glutamate exposure. Overall, our results indicate a novel role for CD44 as an essential regulator of dendritic arbor complexity in both health and disease.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
- Dendritic arborization
- Extracellular matrix
- Golgi fragmentation
- Src kinase