Event Title

Stop Here, Now Go: Seeking Insight into the Coordinated Movements of Nerves During Cornea Innervation

Faculty Advisor

Tyler Schwend

Graduation Year

2019

Location

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

21-4-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

21-4-2018 10:00 AM

Description

The cornea is one of the most densely innervated tissues on the body’s surface. The embryonic cornea acquires its nerves through a highly regulated series of events. Early, nerves are inhibited from entering the cornea, instead forming a ring around the circumference of cornea. Later, nerves simultaneously extend from the ring and enter each quadrant of the cornea evenly. Here, we seek to understand the basis for the switch that allows nerves to grow into the cornea after being previously repelled. Past studies have found that nerve repulsion is mediated by the chemorepellant Semaphorin3A, which is secreted from the lens into the cornea. Because Semaphorin3A secretion continues from the lens as the cornea is acquiring nerves, we hypothesize that Semaphorin3A may over time become physically restricted from entering the cornea. To test this, we are generating transgenic chicken embryos that express stably within their lens cells a fluorescently-tagged Semaphorin3A protein. This will allow the movement of Semaphorin3A from the lens to be tracked over the stages of corneal innervation.

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 21st, 10:00 AM

Stop Here, Now Go: Seeking Insight into the Coordinated Movements of Nerves During Cornea Innervation

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

The cornea is one of the most densely innervated tissues on the body’s surface. The embryonic cornea acquires its nerves through a highly regulated series of events. Early, nerves are inhibited from entering the cornea, instead forming a ring around the circumference of cornea. Later, nerves simultaneously extend from the ring and enter each quadrant of the cornea evenly. Here, we seek to understand the basis for the switch that allows nerves to grow into the cornea after being previously repelled. Past studies have found that nerve repulsion is mediated by the chemorepellant Semaphorin3A, which is secreted from the lens into the cornea. Because Semaphorin3A secretion continues from the lens as the cornea is acquiring nerves, we hypothesize that Semaphorin3A may over time become physically restricted from entering the cornea. To test this, we are generating transgenic chicken embryos that express stably within their lens cells a fluorescently-tagged Semaphorin3A protein. This will allow the movement of Semaphorin3A from the lens to be tracked over the stages of corneal innervation.