How Does the Inhibition of Aquaporin 3b Affect the Calcium Signals Transmitted in the Neural Plate of Xenopus laevis Embryos?

Zachary Hurt, Dr. Christa Merzdorf, Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Montana State University, Culbertson Hall, 100, Bozeman, MT 59717

A critical component of embryonic development is the construction of the central nervous system; the neural plate is one of the first tissues formed in this process. Without proper formation of the neural tube, neural tube birth defects result, such as anencephaly and spina bifida. Apical constriction (AC), the principal mechanism that drives neural tube closure, requires the presence of aquaporin 3b (aqp3b) in order to close properly. The cells that make up the entire neural plate do not apically constrict in the absence of Aqp3b despite the protein only being expressed in the cells of the outer edge. My research focuses on the mechanism associated with the communication of Aqp3b to the neural plate cells that do not express the protein. Calcium is a common intracellular signaling molecule and is able to pass through gap junctions; I have hypothesized that calcium ions may allow Aqp3b to act from the edge of the neural plate to affect all neural plate cells. By injecting Xenopus embryos with RNA for the calcium sensor GCaMP6, I am able to use NIS-Elements software to image the calcium propagation that occurs in the neural plate, both in space and in time. A morpholino oligonucleotide is co-injected to inhibit the expression of aqp3b. I have used time lapse imaging to compare control groups and aqp3b inhibited groups. I am in the process of comparing the calcium events (by observing wave function characteristics), which should tell me whether or not the inhibition of aqp3b is associated with changes in the characteristics of calcium waves that are occur in the neural plate.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Zachary Hurt

Institution: Montana State University Bozeman

Type: Poster

Subject: Biology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 2
Date/Time: Mon 3:00pm-4:00pm
Session Number: 2592