The emergence of dendritic arbor structure in vivo occurs in the context of a developing functional nervous system. It is therefore of utmost importance to consider the interaction between intracellular signaling pathways and inputs from the environment, in the form of growth factors, synaptic inputs, and interactions with other cells. This chapter is written with a special emphasis on the activity-dependent regulation of dendritic arbor structure in the context of the development of functional neuronal circuits. After a brief description of dendritic arbor development and adult dendritic plasticity, it presents representative molecular and cellular mechanisms governing dendrite arbor architecture.
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