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Title: The role of GDF5 in the developing vertebrate nervous system
Author: Laurie, Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 6335
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis aimed to examine the roles of growth differentiation factor 5 (GDF5), a secreted member of the TGF-β superfamily of ligands with a well characterised role in limb morphogenesis, in the developing hippocampus and sympathetic nervous system. Previous studies have demonstrated that GDF5 promotes the growth and elaboration of dendrites from developing mouse hippocampal neurons in vitro and in vivo. As a first step to investigating whether GDF5 plays additional roles in the development of the mouse hippocampus, brains of P10 and adult Gdf5+/+, Gdf5+/bp and Gdf5bp/bp mice were analysed by anatomical MRI. The gross morphology and total volume of hippocampi were not significantly different between the three genotypes at either age, making it unlikely that GDF5 plays a significant role in modulating other aspects of hippocampal development in addition to promoting the growth and elaboration of dendrites. For this reason, no further time was spent on investigating whether GDF5 plays novel roles in regulating hippocampal development. Developing sympathetic neurons of the mouse superior cervical ganglion (SCG) require nerve growth factor (NGF) to promote their survival and target field innervation in vivo. Data in this thesis has revealed that GDF5 modulates NGF promoted survival and enhances NGF promoted process outgrowth in cultures of P0 SCG neurons. In addition, GDF5 promotes process outgrowth and branching from cultured perinatal SCG neurons in the absence of NGF. P10 Gdf5bp/bp mice, that lack functional GDF5 expression, display a marked deficit in sympathetic innervation of the iris, but not the submandibular gland, compared to P10 Gdf5+/+ mice. Whole-mount analysis of sympathetic innervation in P10 Gdf5bp/bp and Gdf5+/+ mice has revealed that GDF5 is required for correct innervation of the trachea and heart, but not the pineal gland. Further in vitro and in vivo investigations have suggested that the neurotrophic effects of GDF5 on developing SCG neurons are mediated by a receptor complex that includes the type 1 receptor, BMPR1A. These findings highlight a role for GDF5 in promoting the sympathetic innervation of selective target fields in vivo.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry