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Early development of the nervous system and cell polarity in vertebrates. Flavio R. Zolessi, Andrea Toledo, Daniel Prieto.
We will study in this part of the course some aspects of neural differentiation in two vertebrate species: chick and zebrafish. We will use chick embryos to analyze some early stages of development, from neural induction to the end of neurulation, by showing methods for ex-ovo embryo culture and in ovo access using window techniques. Students will also learn to perform lineage tracing using lipophylic dyes in vivo. The zebrafish will be used to illustrate on methods for genetic manipulation, like gene knock-down using morpholinos, concentrating on the establishment and maintenance of neuroepithelial and neuronal polarity in the retina.
Neuron-target interactions leading to organotypic patterning and plasticity of sympathetic nerves in the rat. Mónica Brauer, Tim Cowen, Analía Richeri, Paola Bianchimano.
The aim of this part of the course is to study the contribution of diffusible and substrate-bound target-derived signals to the organotypic patterning of sympathetic nerves, and to assess their role in the regulation of innervation remodelling by physiological and experimental stimuli. To this aim, students will learn different experimental in vivo and in vitro approaches, including anterior eye chamber transplantation, co-culture and tissue section culture methods. These methods will be complemented with morphometric microscopic studies to assess changes in neurite outgrowth and cell migration.
Developmental plasticity in the mammalian visual system. Francesco M. Rossi.
This part will be dedicated to studying plastic phenomena during the development of the nervous system in the mouse. In the practical students will learn to perform basic anterograde and retrograde tracing techniques to analyze retinofugal projections.
Development and plasticity of muscle innervation in D. melanogaster. Jimena Sierralta.
This part will be dedicated to studying plastic phenomena during the development of the nervous system in insects, focusing in the neuromuscular junction. Students will learn to manipulate normal, mutant and transgenic fly embryos, larvae and adults, to quantitatively analyze fluorescence microscopic images and discuss on genetic techniques applied to neurodevelopmental biology.
Genomic approaches in neurosciences: microarrays and deep sequencing. José Sotelo-Silveira.
Different strategies, experimental approaches and workflow for genomic
studies will be discussed. Practical activities will be centered on
microarray data analysis to uncover differential gene expression.