BMI Seminar // Alain Chédotal - Development and evolution of neuronal connectivity
In most animal species including humans, commissural axons connect neurons on the left and right side of the nervous system. In humans, abnormal axon midline crossing during development causes a whole range of neurological disorders ranging from congenital mirror movements, horizontal gaze palsy, scoliosis or binocular vision deficits. The mechanisms which guide axons across the CNS midline were thought to be evolutionary conserved but our recent results suggesting that they differ across vertebrates. I will discuss the evolution of visual projection laterality during vertebrate evolution. In most vertebrates, camera-style eyes contain retinal ganglion cell (RGC) neurons projecting to visual centers on both sides of the brain. However, in fish, RGCs are thought to only innervate the contralateral side. Using 3D imaging and tissue clearing we found that bilateral visual projections exist in non-teleost fishes. We also found that the developmental program specifying visual system laterality differs between fishes and mammals. We are currently using various strategies to discover genes controlling the development of visual projections. I will also present ongoing work using 3D imaging techniques to study the development of the visual system in human embryo.
- Informed public
- Brian McCabe, Brain Mind Institute