Competition for tubulin between growing neurites during development
Van Ooyen, A., Graham, B. P., and Ramakers, G. J. A. (2001). Neurocomputing 38-40: 73-78. [Full text: PDF]
At its tip (called growth cone), a neurite is elongated by the assembly of tubulin into microtubules. We present a model of elongation (extended from Van Veen & Van Pelt, 1994) in which tubulin is produced in the soma and transported to the growth cones by diffusion and active transport. The model accounts for competition observed between growing neurites of the same neuron and for dormant growth cones, and shows that cessation of growth in one neurite -- e.g. when it encounters a target -- can trigger the growth of the other neurites. The model makes testable predictions for the time course of outgrowth and the conentration of tubulin during competition.