Morphological and molecular analysis of neuronal plasticity
Germany (bvmd) - Ruhr-Universitaet, Bochum
Department for Cytology, Institute for Anatomy, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany MA Sued 5/46, Universitaetsstrasse 150, 44801 Bochum
Prof. Dr. Carsten Theiss
Dr. Verena Theis
English, German
4 weeks
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Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
The impact of progesterone and the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the central and peripheral nervous system is of great scientific and therapeutical importance. We know that these proteins promote the dendrite-, somato- and spinogenesis in immature Purkinje cells of the cerebellum. Up to know it is not possible to transfer these positive effects in mature Purkinje cells to treat e.g. brain injury or nerve degeneration. We identified five microRNAs (miRNAs) that may play a key role in this topic. Our aim is to analyze the effect mechanisms of these miRNAs in the CNS (central nervous system) and PNS (peripheral nervous system) to modulate the neuronal plasticity after VEGF or progesterone stimulation. Another interesting aspect of our work is the investigation of synaptic plasticity under VEGF or progesterone. We assume that the stimulation positively supports morphologic changes of dendritic spines and thus also the reorganization of the neural network following damage.
What is the aim of the project?
The aim of this project is to charcaterize the effect mechanisms of these five microRNAs that are involved in the regulation and expression of VEGF- and progesteron- receptors. Addtionoally we want to reveal the potential of VEGF and pogesterone to modulate synaptoc plasticity.
What techniques and methods are used?
- Molecular Biology techniques like RNA-Isolation, quantitative Polymerase Chain Reactions (qPCR) and Western Blotting - Microinjection - Cell biology techniques (e.g. dissociated cell culture, transfection of cells)
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
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
Aim of the exchange is that the student processes her / his own little project embedded in our current research. Besides this they should learn how to organize scientific research and new techniques and of course to be part of our team The student will acquire knowledge in the following techniques: Cell culture (e.g. organic- slice cultures, dissociated cell culture, transfection) Working with RNA (total RNA, microRNA, qPCR) Immunohistochemistry Microscopy (e.g. confocal laser scanning microscopy, spinning disk microscopy)
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
It is advisable that students, who are interested in this project, engage oneself in reading our current publications about the role of VEGF and progesterone in the CNS and PNS
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?
Some kind of lab skills would be preferable, mainly in the molecular-biological field.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Students in biomedical fields