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Title: Retinotectal projections influence optic tectum growth in zebrafish
Author: Rouse, H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 392X
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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In the zebrafish visual system, the retina and optic tectum grow in register throughout life. Both regions add new neurons from proliferation zones at their margins, with newly differentiated retinal ganglion cells projecting to, and making new synapses in the tectum. Retinal ganglion cell axon innervation appears to regulate size of the target tissue, because the contralateral tectum is reduced in size when an eye is removed. The mechanisms by which the retina affects cell proliferation and/or survival in the optic tectum remain to be elucidated. In this thesis I use the atoh7 mutant, lakritz, and unilateral eye enucleations to investigate the effect of lack of retinal input on growth of the optic tectum. Without retinal ganglion cell innervation, tectal cell proliferation and survival is reduced, yet proliferating cells in non-innervated tectal lobes still migrate away from the germinal margins and differentiate as occurs in innervated tecta. A candidate approach of innervated versus non-innervated brains suggests that retinal ganglion cell axons activate axin2 expression in the tectum. In addition, a novel transgenic approach to silence retinal ganglion cell activity was designed to test the effect of neuronal activity from retinal ganglion cell axons but, as yet, has failed to provide conclusive results. Together, these results show that retinal afferents into the optic tectum regulate tectal cell proliferation and survival.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available