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Title:Molecular Analysis of Neural Structures During Song Learning in the Zebra Finch
Author(s):Siepka, Sandra Marie
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):David Forrest Clayton
Department / Program:Microbiology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Biology, Molecular
Abstract:The telencephalic pathway responsible for song learning and production in the male zebra finch is completed during adolescence. The precise molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of this song circuit are virtually unknown. Before we can understand and describe the molecular mechanisms governing the song circuit, however, we must first identify the key molecular components. Here I have identified two neural structural proteins, the medium subunit of neurofilament and myelin basic protein, as being important in the formation and completion of the motor path for song production. Transcripts coding for neurofilament are not developmentally regulated within the song circuit, yet neurofilament immunoreactivity changes abruptly in nucleus RA during the formation of the HVC to RA connection in motor path for song production. The timing of this event suggests that changes in neurofilament structure marks the ingrowth of axons from HVC into RA. I used differential display PCR to identify myelin basic protein as another structural molecule which is developmentally regulated in the song circuit. Using a combination of in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry, I showed that the protein abruptly accumulates along the HVC to RA fiber tract during the last stages of song learning when song becomes less plastic and crystallizes. Both the medium subunit of neurofilament and myelin basic protein undergo major changes in organization within the developing song circuit that appear to consist primarily of changes in cell structure and localization as opposed to gene regulation.
Issue Date:1997
Description:279 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9737250
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:1997

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