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Molecular and cellular analysis of hindbrain boundary cells (MCAHBC)
Start date: 01 Jul 2008, End date: 30 Jun 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The Central Nervous System (CNS) is divided in different compartment structures: Forebrain, Midbrain and Hindbrain. The hindbrain in turn is subdivided in rhombomeres: compartmental structures separated by boundaries. It has been described that another CNS compartment borders are organizing centres, but it’s unknown if the hindbrain boundaries have this role and which are the molecular mechanisms that specify this territory, to be distinguished from the remaining hindbrain cells. Nevertheless, there are cues that suggest that hindbrain boundaries act like organizing centres: Activation of signalling pathways and stereotypic organization of neuronal groups. Our questions are: (i) What are the mechanisms that induce boundary cells at the segment interfaces? (ii) What is the behaviour and fate of boundary cells? And, (iii) What is the role of boundaries in the zebrafish hindbrain? To answer them we’ll map the regulatory region of rfng, a hindbrain boundary marker, in order to know the region that drives its expression only in boundaries. Through this approach we follow two objectives: (1) To know which genes regulate its expression, and (2) to obtain transgenic lines, which express reporters in boundaries. These tools will help us, through the use of time-lapse microscopy and hystochemistry to address the boundary cell fate, proliferation, and gene expression. Both approaches will help us to understand the regulatory complex that drives the boundary specification and differentiation and also to know if: the rhombomere boundaries act like organizing centres."
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