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Scholars Day 2006, Wednesday, April 12

Characterization of the Sparse Mutant Zebrafish

The GI tract is visible in intact zebrafish during early development and may be a useful model system for human GI motility. Complex interactions between smooth muscles, enteric neurons, and interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) regulate motility. ICC are pacemaker cells, and regulate contraction frequency in mammals. Kit gene expression identifies ICC. The zebrafish mutant sparse lacks a functional kita gene, and may lack ICC. Sparse mutants lack melanocytes, or pigment cells. GI motility appears disorganized in sparse. The possibility that sparse compensated for the loss of kita function was examined. Smooth muscles and enteric neurons were visualized in age-matched wildtype and sparse mutants using antibodies and fluorescence microscopy. Preliminary studies suggest that the SPARSE mutant smooth muscle density was reduced and disorganized in 7 dpf larvae.

Presenters: Stephanie Gross (Undergraduate Student)
Stacey Hess (Graduate Student)
Scott Leddon (Graduate Student)
Kyle Leonard (Undergraduate Student)
Adam Rich (Faculty)
Topic: Biological Sciences
Location: 216 Hartwell
Time: 9:30 am (Session I)