This project focuses on spontaneous elevations of intracellular calcium in growth cones (calcium waves) that regulate extension of neurites. The outgrowth of neurites to establish specific neuronal connections is an important aspect of early development of the nervous system. The research addresses the mechanisms of generation of calcium waves in growth cones of amphibian spinal neurons in culture and has two major specific aims.
The first aim i s to investigate the contributions of a potentially novel calcium leak pathway in combination with known calcium transporters to the generation of calcium waves.
The second aim i s to determine the identify and roles of intracellular calcium stores in amplifying elevations of intracellular calcium in growth cones and thereby regulating neurite extension. Optical imaging of intracellular calcium and recording of ionic currents will be used to address these aims.
|Spitzer, Nicholas C; Kingston, Paul A; Manning, Timothy J et al. (2002) Outside and in: development of neuronal excitability. Curr Opin Neurobiol 12:315-23|
|Spitzer, N C; Lautermilch, N J; Smith, R D et al. (2000) Coding of neuronal differentiation by calcium transients. Bioessays 22:811-7|
|Gomez, T M; Spitzer, N C (2000) Regulation of growth cone behavior by calcium: new dynamics to earlier perspectives. J Neurobiol 44:174-83|