Emergence of Small-World Anatomical Networks in Self-Organizing Clustered Neuronal Cultures.

Abstract: 

In vitro primary cultures of dissociated invertebrate neurons from locust ganglia are used to experimentally investigate the morphological evolution of assemblies of living neurons, as they self-organize from collections of separated cells into elaborated, clustered, networks. At all the different stages of the culture's development, identification of neurons' and neurites' location by means of a dedicated software allows to ultimately extract an adjacency matrix from each image of the culture. In turn, a systematic statistical analysis of a group of topological observables grants us the possibility of quantifying and tracking the progression of the main network's characteristics during the self-organization process of the culture. Our results point to the existence of a particular state corresponding to a small-world network configuration, in which several relevant graph's micro- and meso-scale properties emerge. Finally, we identify the main physical processes ruling the culture's morphological transformations, and embed them into a simplified growth model qualitatively reproducing the overall set of experimental observations.


Publication type: 
JRC-SCI Magazine
Published in: 
PLoS ONE Vol 9, 1, pp. 1-8          
ISBN/ISSN: 
1932-6203
Publication date: 
January 2014
CeDInt Authors: 
Other Authors: 
Inmaculada Leyva, Juan A. Almendral, Sarit Anava, Amir Ayali, David Papo, Stefano Boccaletti