Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How Different Nerve Cells Develop in the Eye

03.12.2012
Researchers observe development processes in fish embryos with the aid of 4D recordings

Neurobiologists from Heidelberg University’s Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) have gained new insights into how different types of nerve cells are formed in the developing animal. Through specialised microscopes, they were able to follow the development of the neural retina in the eye of living zebrafish embryos.

Using high-resolution three-dimensional time-lapse images the researchers simultaneously observed the division of retinal nerve cells and changes in gene expression. This enabled them to gain insights into the way in which the two processes are linked during eye development and how the number and proportion of different cell types are regulated.

A central question in developmental and regenerative neurobiology concerns the growth processes in animal organisms: How does a growing animal control the generation of the right number of each type and subtype of nerve cell in the brain and what is the relationship between these cells? The retina consists of many different kinds of nerve cells, which are well characterised and common to all vertebrates. Thus, the retina is a particularly good model for studying neuronal development. The researchers studied such retinal developmental processes in living organisms using zebrafish embryos, which are completely transparent and grow rapidly outside their mother.

All retinal cells, which are either excitatory or inhibitory, arise from a relatively small number of apparently homogeneous progenitor cells. These progenitors are able to generate all the different retinal cell types. “It is a challenge to understand how each progenitor cell contributes to the correct number and subtype of nerve cells that compose the final retinal network. Our work contributes to the understanding of how different genes orchestrate neuronal diversity along a progenitor cell lineage, that is the number of cell divisions and types of neurons generated”, says Heidelberg researcher Dr. Lucia Poggi.

To tackle this challenge, Dr. Poggi’s team used different lines of transgenic zebrafish, in which fluorescent reporter proteins highlight the expression of different genes in dividing cells. Working in close cooperation with Dr. Patricia Jusuf of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University, the researchers found that some particular kinds of excitatory and inhibitory nerve cells tend to be lineally related, i.e. they derive from a common progenitor cell. For the first time, 4D recordings permitted an in vivo analysis of how the generation of particular inhibitory cells is regulated through coordination of cell division mode and gene expression within individual retinal progenitors of excitatory nerve cells.

This study has established a model of how cell lineage influences neuronal subtype specification and neuronal circuitry formation in the native environment of the vertebrate brain. The results were published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

For further information see: http://www.cos.uni-heidelberg.de/index.php/j.wittbrodt/l.poggi?l=_e.

Original publication:
P.R. Jusuf, S. Albadri, A. Paolini, P.D. Currie, F. Argenton, S. Higashijima, W.A. Harris, and L. Poggi: Biasing Amacrine Subtypes in the Atoh7 Lineage through Expression of Barhl2, The Journal of Neuroscience, 3 October 2012, 32(40): 13929-13944; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2073-12.2012
Contact:
Dr. Lucia Poggi
Centre for Organismal Studies
Phone: +49 (0)6221 54-6494
lucia.poggi@cos.uni-heidelberg.de
Communications and marketing
Press office, phone: +49 (0)6221 54-2311
presse@rektorat.uni-heidelberg.de

Marietta Fuhrmann-Koch | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-heidelberg.de
http://www.cos.uni-heidelberg.de/index.php/j.wittbrodt/l.poggi?l=_e

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>