• St John, Paul A (PI)

Project: Research project

Grant Details


Neurotransmitter receptors are essential for the function of synapses.
The mechanisms by which the type(s), number, and distribution of
receptors on a neuron are controlled are likely to play crucial roles in
the normal development and the mature function of the central nervous
system, and in changes in the nervous system during aging and following
injury. This project is designed to reveal fundamental mechanisms by
which the number and distribution of receptors are controlled in central
nervous system (CNS) neurons. A better understanding of these basic
mechanisms would ultimately provide a foundation for understanding,
treating, and preventing abnormalities and diseases of the human nervous
system. The project will address this goal by examining the
developmental regulation of one particular neurotransmitter receptor,
that for glycine, on an identified class of rat CNS neurons, spinal
motoneurons, in vitro. The specific aims of the project are to answer
the following questions: 1. Is the number of glycine receptors on a
motoneuron affected by interactions with other neurons? 2. Is the
distribution of glycine receptors on a motoneuron affected by
interactions with other neurons? 3. Do rat motoneurons in vitro express
both a strychnine-sensitive and a strychnine-insensitive form of glycine
receptor, as has been suggested? The experimental paradigm in this
research will be to place embryonic rat motoneurons into cell culture,
and maintain them either mixed with other neurons or in isolation from
other neurons. The glycine receptors on the motoneurons will be
characterized as to their number, their distribution on the neuronal
surface, and which of two subtypes is present. These properties of the
glycine receptors will be compared for motoneurons grown in the presence
and in the absence of other neurons. My working hypothesis for these
experiments is that the number, the distribution, and the subtype of
glycine receptors on a spinal motoneuron can be influenced strongly by
other neurons, perhaps through synaptic contacts onto the motoneuron.
Effective start/end date4/1/923/31/98


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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