BMC Seminar this Thursday, 30th April at 12:20 in Room 343 in Læknagarður
Speaker: Diahann Atacho, PhD student at Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, under supervision of Pétur Henry Petersen and Eiríkur Steingrímsson. Diahann graduated with Bsc in Liberal Arts and Sciences from University College Maastricht (Netherlands). Then with MSc in Medical Neuroscience from Medical University of Berlin Charité (Germany). Interned at Columbia University in NYC afterwards. She started her PhD study in the fall of 2013.
Title: Determining the role of tramscription factor MITF in the central nervous system.
Abstract: Microphthalmia associated transcription factor (MITF) is a basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper transcription factor, well known for its role in mast cells, osteoclasts, melanocytes and melanoma. It is also expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) – especially in the olfactory bulb. One major role of the olfactory bulb is to discern different odors and determine whether olfactory information from the olfactory epithelium is further transmitted within the CNS. This is performed by a complex neuronal network and is based on a fine balance between the activation and inhibition of neurons. However, it is unclear what the function of MITF is in these neurons. One of the major aims of the current project is to determine the role of Mitf in the olfactory bulb formation and maintenance of neuronal circuitry, using mice mutant for the gene. A dishabituation/habituation olfactory test showed an increase of the Mitfmi-vga9/mi-vga9 ability to discriminate between similar scents – suggesting that lack of Mitf leads to increases ability to detect differences in odors. We have observed an increase of Parvalbumin positive cells in the glomeruli in our Mitfmi-vga9/mi-vga9 mouse – a major inhibitory neuronal type known to shape odor response.