Projects
Name
Age related changes in mouse motoneurons: analyzing the impact of dietary supplementation
University
Catalonia (AECS) - University of Lleida (UdL), Lleida
Domain
Neurobiology
Departement
Medicina Experimental. IRBLleida, Av. rovira Roure 80. 25198 Lleida
Head
Olga Tarabal
Tutor
Olga Tarabal
Languages
English, Spanish and Catalan
Duration
4 weeks
Availability
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
No No No No No No Yes No No No No No
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
The aging is accompanied by important changes in the nervous system wich include alterations in the synaptic connections. It has been shown that these structural and molecular alterations occur in the synapsis of animal and humans models. Abnormalities have also been described in myeliniation, axonal lost in peripheral nerves, sarcopenia and disability in motor skills associated to the age. Before we have described that the changes in the affections of the motoneurones of the spinal cord happens in different neuromuscular pathologies, specifically in motor neuron dissease as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. These changes in the aferents terminals in the motor neurons include the glutametergic exciting synapse, the GABAergic inhibitation synapse, and cholinergic synapse. Furthermore, the possible implication of the glial cells on aging is little-known and in continuous discussion. Also, is interesting explore the changes on the diet on how they can affect on the losses. The project pretends advance in the knowledges of the changes involved in the aging process in the central nervous system, especially the alterations related to motor neuron, its functionality and its environment. After that will be explored if is possible to mitigate these changes with different dietary supplements.
What is the aim of the project?
Analysing the changes in the synaptic afferents of the motor neurones related to aging. Also, examine the changes in the neuroglia produced during the aging process and try to determine its functional meaning in the morphologic and functional alterations that motor neurones present. Finally, to carry out dietetic supplementation essays with different constituents in order to analyse if any aging-related changes in the neuromuscular system can be reverted.
What techniques and methods are used?
First of all, the students will be asked to take the samples from the mouses with different techniques such as intracardiac perfusion and dissection of the samples. The tools that will be used in this stage of the investigation are scalpels, forceps, scissors, probes and seekers. Secondly, the student will prepare the immunofluorescence and other stains, which will be taught by the investigation team, in order to analyze them. Finally, the samples will be observed with microscopy techniques: basically the confocal and the electronic microscopy.
What is the role of the student?
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The tasks that will take the student are in relation with the aim of the project: - The student will take an active role in the investigation and its steps. - She/he will be involved on the results extraction and it interpretation in order to extract conclusions. - Work with lab rats and perform the intracardiac perfusion techniques and the dissection of the samples. - Study the samples with confocal and electronic microscopy and analyse the images.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Seminars with the research group and reading of the articles related to the research.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- No specific outcome is expected
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Basic knowledges about neuroscience
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
No
Hours
6
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Students in biomedical fields
Articles
- Godbout; J.P.; Chen; J.; Abraham; J.; Richwine; A.F.; Berg; B.M.; Kelley; K.W.; Johnson; R.W (2005). Exaggerated neuroinflammation and sickness behavior in aged mice following activation of the peripheral innate immune system. FASEB J. 19; 1329–1331.
- Kougias DG; Das T; Barranco Perez A; Pereira SL (2018). A role for nutritional intervention in adressing the aging neuromuscular junction. Nutr Res 53(1-14).
- Maxwell N; Castro RW; Sutherland NM; Vaughan KL; Szarowicz MD; de Cabo R; Mattison JA; Valdez G (2017). α-Motor neurons are spared from aging while their synaptic inputs degenerate in monkeys and mice. Aging Cell; 17(2).
- Tarabal O; Caraballo-Miralles V; Cardona-Rossinyol A; Correa FJ; Olmos G; Lladó J; Esquerda JE; Calderó J. (2014) Mechanisms involved in spinal cord central synapse loss in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 73(6):519-35.