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Title: Developmental control of neuronal survival in the Drosophila embryonic central nervous system
Author: Booth, G. E.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2002
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This work concerns the roles of neuron glia interactions in the control of neuronal survival during Central Nervous System (CNS) development in Drosophila. The question of whether glia are required to maintain neuronal survival in insects was addressed. Firstly, the GAL4 system was used to achieve in vivo targeted genetic ablation of glia. Secondly, plasmid rescue and P-element excision were exploited to locate and mutate genes which might participate in neuron glia interactions. Targeted glial ablation did not affect pioneer neuron survival. However, increased apoptosis was observed among the FasII and 22C10 expressing subsets of the follower neurons. Targeted ablation only of the interface glia was sufficient to induce follower neuron apoptosis. This difference in the survival requirements of pioneer and follower neurons may be instructive in patterning of the CNS. Neuronal apoptosis was rescued by ablating glia in an apoptosis deficient genetic background, and by expressing the p35 apoptosis inhibitor under the neural elav promoter. Hence the loss of neighbouring glia induces nonautonomous neuronal apoptosis. The Mz1131 enhancer-trap line, expressed in the interface glia, was used to examine the effects of mutating a putative glial gene upon CNS development. Lethal Mz1131 mutants displayed increased apoptosis of lateral glia and FasII expressing neurons, but not of 22C10 expressing neurons. The fasciculation and defasciculation of the longitudinal axon tracts as also affected. Both lethality and the characteristic GAL4 expression pattern of Mz1131 were lost upon P-element excision. Nonradioactive southern blotting revealed that line Mz1131 contains multiple P-insertions. Identification of sequences neighbouring P-insertions, and complementation tests revealed a mutation at the sin3A locus.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available