A New Model to Study the Basal Ganglia Circuit (Image 1)

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Jannifer Lee & Ann Graybiel

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The striatum in the brain is known to be important in several aspects of cognition, including motor and action planning, decision making, motivation, reinforcement and reward. It is also found to be particularly vulnerable in various neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. We are generating a working mouse model; one based on the striosome and matrix compartments in the striatum that will allow us to study the basal ganglia circuit in its healthy and disease states.

By combining the inducible fate mapping approach with immunochemical markers, we are able to observe the distribution of medium spiny neurons in both these compartments and ultimately gain a stronger understanding for when the striosome and matrix cells are born during development