How does morphology relate to function in sensory arbors?

David H. Hall, Millet Treinin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Sensory dendrites fall into many different morphological and functional classes. Polymodal nociceptors are one subclass of sensory neurons, which are of particular note owing to their elaborate dendritic arbors. Complex developmental programs are required to form these arbors and there is striking conservation of morphology, function and molecular determinants between vertebrate and invertebrate polymodal nociceptors. Based on these studies, we argue that arbor morphology plays an important role in the function of polymodal nociceptors. Similar associations between form and function might explain the plethora of dendrite morphologies seen among all sensory neurons.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)443-451
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Avi Priel, Bill Kristan and the anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. Chris Crocker supplied new artwork. We also thank John White and the LMB/MRC for donation of their TEM archive of C. elegans to the Hall lab. This work was funded in part by National Institutes of Health grants (RR 12596 to DHH and a BSF 2005036 grant to MT).


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