Developmental Neurobiology Section
Herbert M. Geller, Ph.D.
Laboratory And Project Description
Evaluating the role of adhesiveness in controlling axonal growth of cultured neurons:
Neurons are guided to their targets by sensing guidance cues, which have been defined as signals from growth factors and extracellular matrix molecules interacting with receptors on the neuron. However, the role of physical cues in neuronal guidance and axonal outgrowth have not been carefully investigated. Our goal is to evaluate the role of adhesiveness in controlling axonal growth of cultured neurons. This is especially important as chondrotin sulfate proteoglycans (Extra-cellular matrix molecules which are up-regulated after injury to the nervous system) prevent regeneration. We believe that part of this prevention is due to CSPGs being anti-adhesive. The summer project will use cell culture models to test this hypothesis using the Hawskleys Dunn Chamber. This devise would allow behavioral analysis of cells subjected to a linear concentration gradient of CSPG. Cells would be visualized by various light-microscopy techniques and time-lapse recording combined with image analysis.