A neurite refers to any projection from the cell body of a neuron. This projection can be either an axon or a dendrite. The term is frequently used when speaking of immature or developing neurons, especially of cells in culture, because it can be difficult to tell axons from dendrites before differentiation is complete.
The neural cell adhesion molecule N-CAM simultaneously combines with another N-CAM and a fibroblast growth factor receptor to stimulate the tyrosine kinase activity of that receptor to induce the growth of neurites.
There are several software kits available to facilitate neurite tracing in images (see external links).
Weak endogeneous electric fields may be used to both facilitate and direct the growth of projections from cell soma neurites, EFs of moderate strength have been used to direct and enhance neurite outgrowth in both murine and xenopus models. Co-culture of neurons with electrically aligned glial tissue also directs neurite outgrowth, as it is rich in neurotrophins that promote nerve growth.
- Bear, Mark F; Connors, Barry W.; Paradiso, Michael A., Neuroscience, Exploring the Brain, Philadelphia : Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; Third Edition (February 1, 2006). ISBN 0-7817-6003-8
- E Meijering's article on the state of neurite detection
- NeuronJ neurite tracing program
- SynD synapse and neurite detection program
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