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Cellular communication in the vertebrate visual system

Grant number: 01/13510-0
Support type:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: April 01, 2002 - May 31, 2006
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology
Principal Investigator:Luiz Roberto Giorgetti de Britto
Grantee:Luiz Roberto Giorgetti de Britto
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


In this research we aim to study several aspects of the cellular communication between visual neurons in the vertebrate brain. The visual system will be used as a model for the understanding of general principIes of communication in the nervous system, which represent a pivotal aspect of the neural operations. In addition, it is clear that several neurological disorders are induced by malfunctioning of neural communication, which implies the need for extensive investigation in this field. This project is specifically designed to study the distribution of neurotransmitters and their receptors in visual neurons of different species, especially rodents, chicks and marmosets. The regulation of these chemical systems will also be analyzed in relation to embryonic development and neural lesions. The cholinergic and glutamatergic systems will be the main targets of this research effort, not only because of their relevance in relatively frequent neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy, respectively, but also because of the experience of the research group with those two systems. Other neurotransmitters to be studied include nitric oxide, gamma-amino-butyric acid, and some neuropeptides. The main techniques to be employed are chemical and electrolytic lesioning, immunoblotting, immunocytochemistry, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, electrophysiological current and voltage recordings, and cell cultures. It is anticipated that this multi-methodological approach of the vertebrate visual system may result in significant progress in the understanding of the functional organization of the cellular communication in the nervous system. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
COSTA-PINTO‚ F.A.; BASSO‚ A.S.; DE SÁ-ROCHA‚ L.C.; BRITTO‚ L.R.G.; RUSSO‚ M.; PALERMO-NETO‚ J. Neural Correlates of IgE-Mediated Allergy. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, v. 1088, n. 1, p. 116-131, 2006.
BASSO, A. S.; BRITTO, L. R. G.; MALUCELLI, B. E.; RUSSO, M.; COSTA-PINTO, F. A. DA. Avoidance behavior and neural correlates of allergen exposure in a murine model of asthma. BRAIN BEHAVIOR AND IMMUNITY, v. 19, n. 1, p. 52-60, Jan. 2005.
SALGADO BASSO‚ A.; AZEVEDO COSTA-PINTO‚ F.; GIORGETTI BRITTO‚ L.R.; DE SÁ-ROCHA‚ L.C.; PALERMO-NETO‚ J. Neural pathways involved in food allergy signaling in the mouse brain: role of capsaicin-sensitive afferents. Brain Research, v. 1009, n. 1, p. 181-188, 2004.

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