Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting: Neuroscience 2012
The chick embryonic neural tube offers an effective model to monitor the effects of gene overexpression or knockdown on neural progenitor differentiation at multiple different points during development. To better characterize the effect of gene manipulation by in ovo electroporation, we are using quantitative PCR to screen the effect of gene overexpression on markers of neural progenitor differentiation, followed by anatomical analysis of interesting candidate genes. Genes are selected from those enriched in neural stem cell populations, or criteria that suggest a role in neuronal or glial differentiation. These approaches are undertaken with undergraduate researchers, providing an optimal forum to reinforce principles of developmental biology and also to identify and characterize unknown genes or genetic mutants. These approaches can be applied broadly to allow investigators to readily screen for changes in neural progenitor differentiation.