Abstract/Details

Cellular and molecular analyses of neural and synaptic development in zebrafish


2009 2009

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Abstract (summary)

Proper function of the nervous system requires the precise wiring of neuronal circuitry, which is established during development via mechanisms that guide cells to establish a correct identity, direct axons to navigate to and make synaptic connections with appropriate targets, and establish and maintain the function of synaptic circuits. Dysfunction of genes implicated in one or more of these processes has been linked to human neurological disorders with behavioral and cognitive manifestations. However, our understanding of how specific gene defects affect circuitry formation, function and in turn behavior remains fragmentary.

I have used zebrafish as a genetic model system to begin to address some aspects of this central question. I performed in vivo imaging and cellular analyses of the formation of a peripheral neural circuit, synapses between motor neurons and muscle fibers, called neuromuscular junctions. I then characterized two zebrafish mutants, identified from a small-scale genetic screen for neuromuscular synaptic defects, slytherin ( srn) and xavier (xav). Analyses of srn uncovered a previously underappreciated role for protein fucosylation in several aspects of neural development. Analyses of xav suggest critical roles for mitochondria during neural development. Given that the corresponding mutations in humans result in disorders with poorly explored neural defects, the molecular and cellular characterization of these mutants may shed light on our understanding of the neural and synaptic phenotypes in human patients.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Cellular biology;
Neurobiology;
Developmental biology
Classification
0379: Cellular biology
0421: Neurobiology
0758: Developmental biology
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Biological sciences; Neuromuscular junctions; Notch signaling
Title
Cellular and molecular analyses of neural and synaptic development in zebrafish
Author
Song, Yuanquan
Number of pages
257
Publication year
2009
Degree date
2009
School code
0175
Source
DAI-B 72/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781124533490
Advisor
Balice-Gordon, Rita J.
University/institution
University of Pennsylvania
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3447539
ProQuest document ID
858205498
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/858205498
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