Background: Proper dendrite patterning is critical for the receiving and processing of information in the nervous system. Cell-autonomous molecules have been extensively studied in dendrite morphogenesis; however, the regulatory mechanisms of environmental factors in dendrite growth remain to be elucidated. Results: By evaluating the angle between two primary dendrites (PD-Angle), we found that the directional growth of the primary dendrites of a Drosophila periphery sensory neuron ddaE is regulated by the morphogen molecule Wingless (Wg). During the early stage of dendrite growth, Wg is expressed in a group of epithelial cells posteriorly adjacent to ddaE. When Wg expression is reduced or shifted anteriorly, the PD-Angle is markedly decreased. Furthermore, Wg receptor Frizzled functions together with Flamingo and Dishevelled in transducing the Wg signal into ddaE neuron, and the downstream signal is mediated by non-canonical Wnt pathway through Rac1. Conclusions: In conclusion, we reveal that epithelia-derived Wg plays a repulsive role in regulating the directional growth of dendrites through the non-canonical Wnt pathway. Thus, our findings provide strong in vivo evidence on how environmental signals serve as spatial cues for dendrite patterning.
Li, X., Wang, Y., Wang, H., Liu, T., Guo, J., Yi, W., & Li, Y. (2016). Epithelia-derived wingless regulates dendrite directional growth of drosophila ddaE neuron through the Fz-Fmi-Dsh-Rac1 pathway. Molecular Brain, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13041-016-0228-0