- Studied Four Species of Crustaceans
- Cancer irroratus
- Cancer borealis
- Uca Pugilator
- Homarus americanus
- Microdissection (removal of neural tissue)
- Pericardial Organs
- Somatogastric Nervous System
- Cardiac Ganglion
- MEL in Crustaceans (and other invertebrates)
- Melatonin produced in crustacean eyestalks
- Similar physiological and behavioral roles
- Invertebrate receptors not yet studied
- May have conserved role in cellular functions such as neurite growth
- X-organ Cells:
- Ease of culture
- Similarity to vertebrate neurons
- Survive and grow up to 7days
- Neurosecretory (like vertebrate hypothalamus)
- Sinus Gland
Purpose and Goals
- To identify areas of the crustacean nervous system with antidieuretic hormone, melatonin, and melatonin receptors
- To learn techniques such as microdissection, cell culture, brightfield microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, confocal microscopy, and image analysis.
- To apply these techniques to a collaborative group project.
- To gain expertise in an area of neuroscience research; to design and conduct a research project; to analyze, interpret, and present results.
- To construct and update this website as an informative and instructive tool for the course.
- To gain scientific skills in microdisection, immuncytochemistry, immunohistochemistry, flourescence and brightfield microscopy, confocal microscopy
- Potential Clinical Implications
o Neurodegenerative Diseases: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS
o Axonal Regeneration
o Nervous System Repair
o Nerve damage, Paralysis