Project: Research project

Project Details


The purpose of the proposed experiments is to provide a detailed
analysis of the functions of different subpopulations of neurons in
the visual cortex which use the inhibitory neurotransmitter gama-
amino butyric acid (GABA). We have produced two monoclonal
antibodies, VC1.1 and VC5.1 that identify unique cell surface
molecules restricted to subsets of GABAergic neurons in the
visual cortex. We now propose to use these and new antibodies to
study the functions of subpopulations of GABAergic neurons and
to investigate the role of the cell surface molecules themselves in
the formation of identified cortical circuits.

To achieve these goals, we shall use immunological methods in
combination with biochemical, anatomical, immunohistochemical
and functional approaches. We shall define some of the
biochemical characteristics of the cell surface molecules
recognized by VC1.1 and VC5.1 and purify these molecules for
functional assays. We shall determined whether the VC1.1
immunoreactive/GABAergic neurons in the visual cortex have
other biochemical or anatomical features which provide clues to
their function in cortical circuits. We shall determine whether
extrinsic factors regulate the levels of VC1.1 or VC5.1
immunoreactive molecules by studying their expression in visual
cortex following subcortical lesions or in cortical development
and test the role of these molecules on cell survival, process
outgrowth and synaptogenesis in vitro. As a foundation for future
physiological analyses of the contribution of GABAergic neurons
to the response properties of cortical neurons, we propose to
immuno-ablate the VC1.1 or VC5.1 /GABAergic subpopulation of
cortical neurons at different times during development and in
mature animals. In other experiments, we shall obtain purified
populations of VC1.1. positive neurons using fluorescence
activated cell sorting and use these as immunogens to produce
additional antibodies against subsets of cortical interneurons.

Ultimately, these studies will aid further molecular and cellular
analyses of cortical microcircuitry and lead to a more complete
understanding of how cortical functions are disrupted by disease
or congenital birth defects.
Effective start/end date12/31/899/29/00


  • National Eye Institute
  • National Eye Institute
  • National Eye Institute


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