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Developmental programming by gestational diabetes: focus on microglia as dynamic mediators of synapse formation
Portugal (PorMSIC) - University of Coimbra, Coimbra
Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Life Sciences - IBILI, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra
Antonio Francisco Ambrosio
Filipa Isabel Baptista
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Maternal diabetes during pregnancy has been correlated with increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in the offspring. Several evidences suggest that children of diabetic women exhibit intellectual and behavioral abnormalities accompanied by modifications of hippocampal structure and function. Studies also suggest that the developing retina may be affected. Nevertheless, the exact mechanism by which gestational diabetes affects both hippocampus and retina in the offspring remains to be defined.
What is the aim of the project?
In this study, we hypothesize that maternal diabetes negatively impacts hippocampal and retinal microglial cells, changing their morphology and sensor ability and leading to aberrant synapse formation. Ultimately, abnormal synapse formation may impact hippocampal circuitry and retinal function and underlie memory and visual impairments in the offspring.
What techniques and methods are used?
Western blotting and immunohistochemistry
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will learn about the neuronal changes occurring during diabetes. Regarding pratical skills, the student will learn how to work in a laboratory, how to handle with animals, dissect retinas and hippocampus, perform immunohistochemistry and western blotting, among other techniques. The student must learn all the techniques required to carry out this project and be able perform the experiments, analyze the results obtained and discuss them within the group.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
It will be provided all the necessary theoretical teaching about the present project
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a poster
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
It is expected a highly motivated student. It is expected that the student has good social skills and be able to collaborate with the group members..
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students
- Golalipour; M. J.; Kafshgiri; S. K.; and Ghafari; S. (2012) Gestational diabetes induced neuronal loss in CA1 and CA3 subfields of rat hippocampus in early postnatal life; Folia morphologica 71; 71-77.
- Hami; J.; Shojae; F.; Vafaee-Nezhad; S.; Lotfi; N.; Kheradmand; H.; and Haghir; H. (2015) Some of the experimental and clinical aspects of the effects of the maternal diabetes on developing hippocampus; World journal of diabetes 6; 412-422.
- Vafaei-Nezhad; S.; Hami; J.; Sadeghi; A.; Ghaemi; K.; Hosseini; M.; Abedini; M. R.; and Haghir; H. (2016) The impacts of diabetes in pregnancy on hippocampal synaptogenesis in rat neonates; Neuroscience 318; 122-133.
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