Title

Quantitative Histological Analysis: Calcineurin’s Role in the Developing Nervous System

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

The visual system is commonly used as a model for analyzing connections among developing neurons, the specialized cells that make up the nervous system. Neurons The specific neurons in this study are called retinal ganglion cells which consist of a cell body in the retina of the eye; and an axon which extends to the tectum, a specialized visual information processing part of the mid-brain that receives signals from the retinal ganglion cells. Calcineurin is a protein phosphate and intracellular protein that plays a role in axon growth (Mulero et al. 2009). In order to test calcineurin’s role in retinal ganglion cells axon growth, fertilized chicken embryos are removed from their shell and placed into incubators and treated with calcineurin inhibitors Tacrolimus (FK 506) and Cyclosporin A (CsA). Treatments were administered during the embryonic stages when axon growth is most active; embryonic day 5-9. We hypothesized that the axon layer of the retina within the FK 506 and CsA treated embryos will be thinner than the control embryos due to inhibitory effects of the drugs. We anticipated these finding due to previous work in our lab, calcineurin inhibitors appear to have the capacity to decrease axon growth. Histological analysis measuring the thickness of axon layers within the retina was conducted comparing the thickness between the treated and control embryos. Our preliminary findings show that there was less axon growth in the optic fiber layers of the FK 506 and CsA treated embryos when compared to the thickness of control embryos.

Poster Number

18

Faculty Mentor(s)

Daniel Selski

Additional Mentoring Department

Biological Sciences

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May 17th, 8:30 AM May 17th, 11:00 AM

Quantitative Histological Analysis: Calcineurin’s Role in the Developing Nervous System

SURC Ballroom A

The visual system is commonly used as a model for analyzing connections among developing neurons, the specialized cells that make up the nervous system. Neurons The specific neurons in this study are called retinal ganglion cells which consist of a cell body in the retina of the eye; and an axon which extends to the tectum, a specialized visual information processing part of the mid-brain that receives signals from the retinal ganglion cells. Calcineurin is a protein phosphate and intracellular protein that plays a role in axon growth (Mulero et al. 2009). In order to test calcineurin’s role in retinal ganglion cells axon growth, fertilized chicken embryos are removed from their shell and placed into incubators and treated with calcineurin inhibitors Tacrolimus (FK 506) and Cyclosporin A (CsA). Treatments were administered during the embryonic stages when axon growth is most active; embryonic day 5-9. We hypothesized that the axon layer of the retina within the FK 506 and CsA treated embryos will be thinner than the control embryos due to inhibitory effects of the drugs. We anticipated these finding due to previous work in our lab, calcineurin inhibitors appear to have the capacity to decrease axon growth. Histological analysis measuring the thickness of axon layers within the retina was conducted comparing the thickness between the treated and control embryos. Our preliminary findings show that there was less axon growth in the optic fiber layers of the FK 506 and CsA treated embryos when compared to the thickness of control embryos.