From Neuroscience Research Techniques
Scientists at Virginia Tech thought that they would see the same brain abnormalities in mice regardless of whether they removed a protein known as Reelin or its receptor. Instead, in two new papers published in Neural Development and the Journal of Neuroscience, the researchers found that these did two completely different things. The scientists were trying to understand how different groups of neurons could have such distinct boundaries during development, even as they have to migrate to new locations. Cells lacking Reelin get lost on their migration; cells lacking the Reelin receptor can travel to the right location, but the target has moved. The mislocated neurons stay separate and don’t make connections in their new location, perhaps because they’re not receiving the right signals to make these connections and continue along their normal developmental trajectory. The next task, the scientists say, is to identify the other molecules with which Reelin and its receptor are interacting.
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Journal articles: Contributions of VLDLR and LRP8 in the establishment of retinogeniculate projections. Neural Development, 2013. doi:10.1186/1749-8104-8-11
Retinal Input Regulates the Timing of Corticogeniculate Innervation. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5271-12.2013
Image credit: Wellcome Images