4. Development of gaze and posture stabilization
The embryonic hindbrain neuroepithelium of all vertebrates is organized at the gross morphological level as a series of segments, the rhombomeres, indicating the presence of a segmental patterning at both cellular and genetic levels. In a comparative study we aim to compare the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) with the Xenopus model to understand the basic organization of vestibulo-motor system in organisms with different locomotor styles, i.e., quadruped walking in axolotl vs undulating/kicking swimming in Xenopus. We are thus investigating the spatial arrangement of distinct vestibular projections within the rhombomeric framework in juvenile axolotls in comparison with frog tadpoles using a variety of anatomical and electrophysiological techniques in semi-intact in-vitro preparations.
The Mauthner cell in rhombomere 4 can be used as a reference to identify particular neuronal subpopulations.