Le développement du cerveau et de la fonction pendant les premières années de vie des enfants atteints d'une malformation cardiaque congénitale


Jenea Bin

University of Edinburgh


Domaine : Neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies


Concours 2017-2018


Société canadienne de la sclérose en plaques

Proper brain function relies on cells called neurons, which are connected in an elaborate network in which they communicate with each other.  To efficiently communicate, it is important that the part of the neuron which transmits signals, called the axon, is surrounded by an insulating membrane called myelin.  In the neurological disease multiple sclerosis, myelin in the brain is destroyed.  While some repair does happen, new myelin is thinner than normal, and many axons do not have their myelin replaced at all, preventing proper neuronal communication. Normally, whether an axon is myelinated and the number of myelin wraps correlates strongly with the diameter of the axon, but how this is regulated is not known.

My project aims to address what regulates axon diameter in the brain and spinal cord, and whether changing axon diameter alters the length and thickness of myelin segments along individual axons. To do this, I will use state-of-the-art microscopy to non-invasively image axon and myelin development in small, transparent zebrafish larvae.  Specifically, I will test how changes to the neuronal network affect growth in axon diameter and myelination, and what happens to myelin when axon diameter growth is disrupted. This work will contribute new insight into fundamental mechanisms of myelinated axon development.  The knowledge we gain may also help us better understand why in myelin-related diseases such as multiple sclerosis, the relationship between axon diameter and myelin thickness is not maintained.