Ric-8a is Essential for Regulation of Intercellular Interactions in the Developing Brain
Intemeurons are important cellular components in the brain and they are mainly responsible for inhibitory actions in the central nervous system. Investigation of how intemeurons develop is necessary to understand neuronal circuitry and diseases which could be caused by excitatory/inhibitory imbalance. Our laboratory utilizes mouse genetics to study this and related topics on intemeurons during embryogenesis. We focused on how Ric8a, an important protein in signaling pathways, contributes to cortical development. Our laboratory is one of the first groups to remove ric8a specifically in intemeurons in order to reveal its functions. From my results, it is evident that the ric-8a gene plays a role in intemeuron production or survival (but not morphology) at both embryonic and post-natal stages. Our genetic model helps to determine the role that ric-8a plays in cortex development and function, as well as sheds light on possible medical advancements for diseases caused by intemeuron defects.