This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. The subproject and investigator (PI) may have received primary funding from another NIH source, and thus could be represented in other CRISP entries. The institution listed is for the Center, which is not necessarily the institution for the investigator. The focus of Dr. Nishiyama's research is the study of a distinct CNS cell type called NG2 cells. The morphology and function of NG2 cells which we call NG2 cells are distinct from other glial cells and neurons. Some NG2 cells differentiate into myelinating oligodendrocytes, but they also exist abundantly in the mature brain. Recently, NG2 glia have been shown to contact the node of Ranvier in white matter and synapses in gray matter. In both white and gray matter, NG2 cells have been shown to depolarize via AMPA type of glutamate receptors in a manner that is consistent with quantal vesicular release of glutamate. The overall goal of the collaboration between Drs. Nishiyama and Ellisman's groups is to use multi-scale imaging methods to understand the morphological basis of this novel phenomenon by closely examining the three-dimensional relationship between NG2 cells, astrocytes, and neuronal structures including the synapse and node of Ranvier. To facilitate cell identification during the phase of specimen preparation (i.e. cell filling), Dr. Nishiyama's group has developed two transgenic mouse lines: one that expresses the red fluorescent protein DsRed specifically in NG2 cells (NG2-BAC-DsRed mice) and the other that expresses enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in a subpopulation of astrocytes with low levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP: EGFP astrocyte mice).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biotechnology Resource Grants (P41)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-CDF-2 (40))
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University of California San Diego
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
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