Principal Investigator

Julie L. Fudge, M.D. University of Rochester work Box 603 601 Elmwood Ave Rochester NY 14642 office: MC 5-8503 p (585) 273-2028

Neural Substrates of Plasticity in the Amygdala

Bright field photomicrograph showing immature neurons in the amygdala that express bcl-2 protein in nucleus and cytoplasm, and have a thin process (brown). Glia (blue nuclei) are seen in close proximity.

This project involves characterizing immature-appearing neurons in the amygdala. These cells may be of special interest in understanding structural and functional change of the amygdala that occur in human mood disorders. Immature-appearing neurons reside in a subregion of the amygdala that is the last to develop in the fetus. In a recent project, we used a combination of tract tracing and immunostaining for markers of neural immaturity to map the distribution of hippocampal inputs to the amygdala, and found that the hippocampus targets these immature-appearing cells. In the future, we will use microarray to further characterize the molecular features of these cells, which will help us to understand their function under normal and pathologic conditions.

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