Role of CaMKII-alpha in the Neurodevelopment of Embryonic Zebrafish

  • Author / Creator
    Roy, Birbickram
  • Calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase 2 (CaMKII) is a multifunctional serine/threonine kinase that is highly abundant in the central nervous system. It plays important roles in many neuronal functions, including neurite extension and maturation, activity-dependent synaptic plasticity and behavior. Although much focus has been given to elucidate the roles of this enzyme in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, such as long term potentiation and depression, relatively little attention has been paid to explore the enzyme’s role in the synaptic receptor development in embryonic organism. Thus, my overall goal in this thesis is to examine the role CaMKII in the synaptic development of embryonic zebrafish. Zebrafish offers many advantages for developmental studies, rapid development and presence of identifiable Mauthner neurons (M-cells) in the embryos being two of them. Major findings reported in this thesis include (1) two days post fertilization (dpf) zebrafish M-cells predominantly express the alpha transcript of CaMKII genes, (2) knockdown of CaMKII alpha transcript led to increased branching of the ventral dendrite of the M-cells and aberrant locomotor response to touch, (3) development of excitatory synaptic receptor currents, specifically NMDA receptors were affected by knockdown of CaMKII-alpha transcript, while development of AMPA receptors were unaffected, and (4) knockdown of CaMKII-alpha transcript also affected the development of inhibitory GABA and glycine receptor currents. These findings contribute to our understanding of the important roles of CaMKII-alpha in the synaptic and neuronal development of embryonic organisms.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Biological Sciences
  • Specialization
    • Physiology, Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Ali, Declan W. (Department of Biological Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Allison, William Ted (Department of Biological Sciences)
    • Funk, Gregory D (Department of Physiology)
    • Nguyen, Peter V (Department of Physiology)
    • Lukowiak, Kenneth D. (Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Calgary)