During the development of the nervous system synapses are made and broken giving rise to functional neural networks. Even after this stage of initial organisation is complete synapses are still formed and eliminated in response to use, disuse or injury. Thus an important aspect of the nervous system to understand is the mechanisms guiding synapse formation and elimination. The neuromuscular junction is a useful system to use in order to study synapses for two reasons. Firstly, it is easily accessible and easy to manipulate. Secondly, understanding the development of the neuromuscular junction is in itself an important component of the bigger problem of discovering how to deal with disease or injury of the neuromuscular system. The aim of this project is to investigate the principles of synapse formation and elimination at the neuromuscular junction. More specifically the project aims to address the following questions: 1. What are the contributions of “competition” and “intrinsic withdrawal” in synapses elimination during development? 2. What are the rules of synapse formation during development? 3. What is the relationship between motor unit size and the strength of the synapses within them?
Related Publications and Presentations
- Adrianna Teriakidis, Nia Jenkins, David Willshaw, and Richard Ribchester, “Competitive, intrinsic and stochastic determinants of neuromuscular synapse elimination in transgenic YFP expressing mice “, BNA, 2007.
- Adrianna Teriakidis, and Richard Ribchester, “Competition vs Intrinsic Withdrawal in the development of the NMJ”, DTC Day, University of Edinburgh, 2006.