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The inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor (IP3R) acts as a Ca2+ release channel on internal Ca2+ stores. Type 1 IP3R (IP3R1) is enriched in growth cones of neurons in chick dorsal root ganglia. Depletion of internal Ca2+ stores and inhibition of IP3 signaling with drugs inhibited neurite extension. Microinjection of heparin, a competitive IP3R blocker, induced neurite retraction. Acute localized loss of function of IP3R1 in the growth cone induced by chromophore-assisted laser inactivation resulted in growth arrest and neurite retraction. IP3-induced Ca2+ release in growth cones appears to have a crucial role in control of nerve growth.
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