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Current Cell Biology & Molecular Biology

First, we are following out the implications of the transcriptome discovered by Inna Tabansky in our lab (PNAS, 2018).  Among all the neurons in the brain, Inna’s NGC neurons are the only ones which express endothelial nitric oxide synthase, eNOS (Figure CMB 1). These neurons might have the capacity to control their own blood supply. And, conversely, some of these neurons have processes plastered against the neighboring blood vessels without a blood brain barrier.  It is possible to generate predictions about the behavior changes consequent to selective manipulations of these cells.


Especially interesting will be manipulations of a subgroup of NGC neurons which express the hox gene Chx10 during development and become glutamatergic neurons.

Second, Ana Maria Magarinos in the lab is using a new approach, EDU (supplants the older BRDU) for terminal labeling of NGC neurons during development. For example,  we are quite sure that NGC neurons are born on both the alar and the basal plates of the cerebral ventricle, but we don’t know whether neurons born at different times end up in different functional positions or develop different patterns of connections within the brain.

Kv2.1 figure

The “delayed rectifier” potassium channel Kv2.1 is expressed (bright green punctate spots) in the nerve cell bodies of mouse NGC nerve cells. Expression of this potassium channel is correlated with the ability to fire trains of action potentials and with the ability of the pup to initiate active behavior. These results are in accord with the electrophysiological recordings pictured elsewhere in this site.

As well, Ana Magarinos is doing the histochemical experiments measuring the expression of the Kv2.1 gene in NGC neurons – – these experiments mirror the electrophysiological work described in that Box. Expression of Kv2.1 gene does go up from postnatal day 3 to day 6, as predicted by Lee-Ming Kow’s theory, and also is correlated with action potential trains in cultured NGC neurons (J. Comparative Neurology, in preparation).

Contact Us

Laboratory of Neurobiology and Behavior
Weiss Research Building
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Donald Pfaff, Ph.D.