Long-distance regressive signaling in neural development and disease

Amrita Pathak, Shayla Clark, Francisca C. Bronfman, Christopher D. Deppmann, Bruce D. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Nervous system development proceeds via well-orchestrated processes involving a balance between progressive and regressive events including stabilization or elimination of axons, synapses, and even entire neurons. These progressive and regressive events are driven by functionally antagonistic signaling pathways with the dominant pathway eventually determining whether a neural element is retained or removed. Many of these developmental sculpting events are triggered by final target innervation necessitating a long-distance mode of communication. While long-distance progressive signaling has been well characterized, particularly for neurotrophic factors, there remains relatively little known about how regressive events are triggered from a distance. Here we discuss the emergent phenomenon of long-distance regressive signaling pathways. In particular, we will cover (a) progressive and regressive cues known to be employed after target innervation, (b) the mechanisms of long-distance signaling from an endosomal platform, (c) recent evidence that long-distance regressive cues emanate from platforms like death receptors or repulsive axon guidance receptors, and (d) evidence that these pathways are exploited in pathological scenarios. This article is categorized under: Nervous System Development > Vertebrates: General Principles Signaling Pathways > Global Signaling Mechanisms Establishment of Spatial and Temporal Patterns > Cytoplasmic Localization.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere382
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Developmental Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2020


  • axon transport
  • degeneration
  • neurotrophin
  • p75NTR
  • signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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