Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Molecular mechanisms specifying the topography of thalamocortical projections in the ventral telencephalon
by Powell, Ashton, Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007, 187; 3304295
Abstract (Summary)

The topographic projection of each thalamic nucleus to a unique set of cortical areas underlies the input specificity characterizing each sensory modality. Although the importance of the patterning of thalamic projections for normal cortical function has long been appreciated, the underlying developmental mechanisms remain largely unknown. The aim of my thesis was to identify some of the cellular and molecular cues patterning thalamocortical projections. First, I developed a novel technique to quantitatively study the topography of thalamocortical axons in vivo. Second, I showed that a single gradient of Netrin-1 controls the rostro-caudal topography of thalamocortical axons inside the ventral telencephalon through both attractive and repulsive mechanisms. Third, I confirm that an interaction between corticofugal and thalamic axons inside the VTel acts as a topographic cue for caudal thalamic axons, thus providing the first experimental evidence of the 'handshake hypothesis.'

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Polleux, Franck
Commitee: Anton, Eva, Crews, Steve, Deshmukh, Mohanish, Pevny, Larysa
School: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department: Neurobiology
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-B 69/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Molecular biology, Neurology
Keywords: Axon guidance, Internal capsule, Netrin-1, Thalamocortical axon, Thalamocortical projections, Thalamus, Topography, Ventral telencephalon
Publication Number: 3304295
ISBN: 9780549533375
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