Growth cone

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noun, plural: growth cones

The bulbous enlargement at a specialized region at the tip of a growing neurite responsible for sensing the local environment and for moving toward the neurons target cell.


Growth cones resemble a hand in shape due to the many long filopodia that differentially adhere to surfaces in the embryo. These structures may be sensitive to several guidance cues such as surface adhesiveness, growth factors, neurotransmitters and electric fields.