Recently, microglia were found to have roles in synaptic pruning, synaptic stripping, and neuroprotection. Through these studies an interesting phenomenon of microglia making soma-to-soma contact, “hugging”, with cortical neurons was observed. The goal of this study was to use transgenic mice to define hugging behavior throughout post-natal neuronal development. Specifically, how many soma-to-soma contacts were being made by microglia and what types of neurons were being contacted. I further investigated the role of AMIGO1, a cell adhesion molecule found in neurons and glia, in hugging behavior. Understanding normal microglial-neuronal interactions in the healthy brain is relevant to many neurodevelopmental diseases.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Biology and Biotechnology
Major Qualifying Project
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