Examining the role of Dyrkl a in the development and function of inhibitory neurons.


Rachel V. Levy

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2017

JAX Location

In: Student Reports, Summer 2017, Jackson Laboratory


Dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase lA (Dyrkla) has a crucial role in brain development, and studies have revealed links to Down Syndrome (DS) and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The purpose of this study was to determine whether deletion of Dyrkl a alters the number and distribution of parvalbumin (PV) neurons in the cortex and innervation of neurons by PV neurons. The overall goal was to reveal how this genetic mutation plays a role in the development of ASD. ere-lox technology was used to produce the genetically mutated mice carrying heterozygous deletion of Dyrkl a in inhibitory neurons. Perfusion was perfonned on both mutant and control mice at 8 weeks old. After perfusion, the mice were dissected, and their brains were sectioned and treated with immunofluorescent staining for PV and GAD67. They were then analyzed through fluorescent and confocal microscopy, with a focus on the cerebral cortex. Data analysis showed that Dyrkl a mutation disrupts the development of PV neurons. These trends were present in the density and size of PV neurons, as well as in the distribution of synaptic terminals. This study could serve as a base for future research into ASD in humans, including potential for treatment and preventative measures.

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