Phillip Bonner

Research Interests:

Ph.D. Univ. of California, San Diego, 1971


Axon growth and branching during development and regeneration Many kinds of neurons grow and differentiate well in tissue culture, elaborating axons and dendrites and forming synapses on target cells. We use cultured neurons of various types to examine ways in which axon growth and branching may be controlled during development and regeneration.We re examining the characteristics of motor and sensory axon growth and branching of chick, mouse, and rat neurons. Cultured neurons treated in a variety of ways to interfere with normal signaling pathways reveal alterations in axonal and dendritic arborization patterns. We are especially interested in the use of botulinum toxin (type A) to better understand mechanisms that regulate axon branching. Botulinum A toxin is a neurotoxin that blocks synaptic vesicle release and concomitantly causes pronounced axon branching in vivo and in vitro. Human patients suffering various spasmodic muscle disorders such as blepharospasm can be treated with toxin for relief of symptoms but motor axon branching and growth of sprouts to muscle fibers results in formation of new synapses and the eventual return of symptoms.We hope to be able to better understand signaling pathways involved in modulating axon growth, branch formation, and regeneration.

PubMed Publications*: 
  • Porter, JD ;Karathanasis, P.;Bonner, PH ;Brueckner, JK "The oculomotor periphery: the clinician's focus is no longer a basic science stepchild." Current opinion in neurobiology 7, 6 (1997): 880-7. Details. Full text
  • Bonner, PH ;Friedli, AF ;Baker, RS "Botulinum A toxin stimulates neurite branching in nerve-muscle cocultures." Brain research. Developmental brain research 79, 1 (1994): 39-46. Details. Full text
  • Bonner, PH "Correlation of development stage and gap junction formation between chick embryo neurons and cloned skeletal muscle myoblasts." Experimental cell research 181, 1 (1989): 205-16. Details. Full text
  • Bonner, PH "Gap junctions form in culture between chick embryo neurons and skeletal muscle myoblasts." Brain research 466, 2 (1988): 233-44. Details.
  • Bonner, PH "Myoblast differentiation is induced by nerve transplanted to chick embryo legs." The Journal of experimental zoology 243, 1 (1987): 63-70. Details.
  • Bonner, PH ;Adams, TR "Neural induction of chick myoblast differentiation in culture." Developmental biology 90, 1 (1982): 175-84. Details. Full text
  • Bonner, PH ;Adams, TR "The involvement of nerves in chick myoblast differentiation." Progress in clinical and biological research 110 Pt B, (1982): 349-58. Details.
  • Womble, MD ;Bonner, PH "Developmental fate of a distinct class of chick myoblasts after transplantation of cloned cells into quail embryos." Journal of embryology and experimental morphology 58, (1980): 119-30. Details.
  • Bonner, PH "Differentiation of chick embryo myoblasts is transiently sensitive to functional denervation." Developmental biology 76, 1 (1980): 79-86. Details. Full text
  • Bonner, PH "Nerve-dependent changes in clonable myoblast populations." Developmental biology 66, 1 (1978): 207-19. Details. Full text
  • Bonner, PH "Clonal analysis of vertebrate myogenesis. V. Nerve-muscle interaction in chick limb bud chorio-allantoic membrane grafts." Developmental biology 47, 1 (1975): 222-7. Details. Full text
  • White, NK ;Bonner, PH ;Nelson, DR ;Hauschka, SD "Clonal analysis of vertebrate myogenesis. IV. Medium-dependent classification of colony-forming cells." Developmental biology 44, 2 (1975): 346-61. Details. Full text
  • Bonner, PH "Intermediates of bacteriophage MS2 assembly in vivo." Journal of virology 14, 5 (1974): 1152-68. Details. Full text
  • Bonner, PH ;Hauschka, SD "Clonal analysis of vertebrate myogenesis. I. Early developmental events in the chick limb." Developmental biology 37, 2 (1974): 317-28. Details. Full text
  • Baker, RS ;Bonner, PH ;Porter, JD ;Madhat, MN ;Gross, J. "Myoblast transfer therapy in the treatment of ptosis: a preliminary study." Journal of pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus 30, 2 (1969): 113-7. Details. Full text
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