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Gene silencing via RNA interference in the somatosensory cortex of the rat

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Gene silencing via RNA interference in the somatosensory cortex of the rat

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Samenvatting

Neuronal plasticity is the ability of the central nervous system to change and adapt in
response to environmental cues, experience, behaviour, injury, or disease. An important
protein modulating experience-dependent neuronal plasticity is brain-derived neurotrophic
factor (BDNF). Recently Vallès and co-workers studied the expression pattern of BDNF
transcripts in the barrel cortex of adult rats exposed to enriched environment (EE) in
combination with deprivation of sensory input by clipping whiskers on one side. The most
prominent differences in expression were detected for transcripts I and IV. Surprisingly,
whereas the pattern of BDNF IV expression was within expectations (higher expression in
the spared barrel cortex), BDNF I expression was higher in the deprived barrel cortex. The
question arises whether experience-dependent plasticity induces changes in the expression
of specific BDNF gene transcripts. For this purpose, we explored the possibility to downregulate
the up-regulated BDNF I gene transcript using small interfering RNA. We find that
the siRNA used resulted in the opposite effect than what we expected (the BDNF I
expression increased after transfection with siRNA, while we expected a decrease). In
addition, we examined which set of coordinates would be best to use for the in vivo
stereotactic injection of siRNA into specific rat brain regions. When we obtained a siRNA
which can down-regulate BDNF I after transfection, the siRNA could also be applied in vivo.
In the long-term, they will study BDNF I and other genes to determine if knockdown of
particular genes had a functional effect on neuronal plasticity.

Toon meer
OrganisatieAvans Hogeschool
AfdelingATGM Academie voor de technologie van Gezondheid en Milieu
PartnersDonders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Neuroscience; Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences (NCMLS); Department of Molecular Animal Physiology
Datum2011-08
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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