Confocal microscopic studies in Neuroscience. (360G-Wellcome-091505_Z_10_Z)
The objectives of the first project are to identify functional populations of glycinergic premotor interneurons in mice expressing EGFP under control of the GLYT2 promoter, and then to perform detailed analysis of synapses that these cells form on motoneurons. We will test the prediction that the properties of these synapses are related to the functions of the interneurons from which they originate. The second project will use a rodent model of spinal cord injury to test the hypothesis that tw o leading experimental therapies, olfactory ensheathing cell transplants and chondroitinase treatment, improve recovery of function by inducing plasticity in spared fibre systems, rather than by promoting regeneration. We will use morphological and electrophysiological approaches to distinguish between anatomical plasticity (formation of new connections) and increased efficiency of existing synapses. The third project will investigate the effects of loss of the methyl-CpG binding protein MeCP 2 in a mouse model of the autism spectrum disorder Rett syndrome (RTT). MeCP2 is expressed in a mosaic pattern in this model, due to random X-chromosome inactivation. We will first determine whether cells with or without MeCP2 are functionally and morphologically equivalent. We will then establish whether structural changes induced by MeCP2-deficiency are reversible following its restoration.
£227,781 05 May 2010