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Reactive Neurogenesis in the Forebrain of the Leopard Gecko

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Title: Reactive Neurogenesis in the Forebrain of the Leopard Gecko
Author: Austin, Laura
Department: Department of Biomedical Sciences
Program: Biomedical Sciences
Advisor: Vickaryous, Matthew
Abstract: Neurogenesis is the ability to generate new neurons from resident stem/progenitor populations. Although best understood as a homeostatic process, several species of teleost fish and salamanders are also capable of replacing neurons lost due to injury – so called reactive neurogenesis. Here, I investigated reactive neurogenesis in the lizard Eublepharis macularius, the leopard gecko. To initiate reactive neurogenesis, I administered a single dose of the antimetabolite 3-acetylpyridine (3-AP). Four days following 3-AP administration, there is widespread evidence of cell death and microglia activation within the medical cortex, the homologue of the mammalian hippocampus. As evidenced by reduced expression of the neuronal marker NeuN, 3-AP appears to selectively target mature neurons. 30 days following 3AP administration, the medial cortex appears to be structurally restored with a pattern of NeuN expression that closely resembles the uninjured brain. Together, these data provide the first evidence that the leopard gecko is capable of reactive neurogenesis.
Date: 2020
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