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Title: An in vitro search for factors controlling the formation and maintenance of connections between the thalamus and cortex
Author: Lotto, R. B.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1994
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During my PhD, in addition to in vivo DiI tract-tracing experiments, I have used three different in vitro techniques: (i) co-cultures of organotypic explants on a two-dimensional collagen substrate, (ii) organotypic explants co-cultured within a three-dimensional collagen gel, and (iii) co-cultures of dissociated cells. Because serum is known to contain many trophic factors, only serum-free medium was used for all of these experiments. Using the above in vitro techniques, I investigated questions concerning the development of connections between the thalamus and cortex. These experiments yielded the following results. (i) When thalamocortical and corticothalamic efferent fibres began to grow in vivo at embryonic day 15 (E15) conserved diffusible target-derived factors enhanced their neurite elongation in vitro. (ii) The survival of these cells at E15 was independent from target-derived trophic support, since both the thalamus and cortex promoted their own survival in vitro, possibly through the production of endogenous trophic factors. However, (iii), between E17 and postnatal day 2, a time coincident with the arrival of their fibres to their target (based on my DiI tract-tracing studies), the survival of thalamocortical and corticothalamic neurones was dependent on factors released from their target. (iv) The production of growth promoting factors within the cortex increased with postnatal age and was at least partially regulated by afferent activity. And finally (v), it seems that the recognition/stop-signalling molecules expressed within these targets are also highly conserved since they were recognised in inter-species co-culture experiments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available