Adhesion molecules in establishing retinal circuitry.

Document Type


Publication Date



Cell-Adhesion, Cell-Adhesion-Molecules, Chick-Embryo, Drosophila, Mice, Nerve-Net, Retina, Retinal-Neurons

JAX Source

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2009 Aug; 19(4):389-94.


The formation of neural circuits requires molecular mechanisms to confer cell identity, to establish appropriate dendritic arbors, and to space cell bodies within the groups of homotypic neurons. Recent work in a variety of organisms has implicated cell adhesion molecules in these processes. The DSCAMs in particular have functions including cell identity and self-avoidance through repulsion in Drosophila, differential adhesion and synaptic pairing in chick retina, and the masking of adhesion within specific cell types in the mouse retina. These differences in molecular function between different organisms, and potentially different cell types within a single tissue, emphasize how seemingly subtle distinctions may be important for deciphering this molecular adhesion code.