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Final Report - SENSORY INNERVATION (Establishment and refinement of sensory innervation in the lateral-line system of the zebrafish)

Project ID: 236214
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE


Sensory perception is a complex process that allows organisms to realise their environment and to respond accordingly. Therefore, sensory dysfunction can be a major handicap that dramatically decreases the quality of life of the affected individual. Vertebrate sensory organs represent an excellent model for studies that converge at the interface between intrinsic and activity-dependent processes controlling the establishment and maintenance of organ innervation.

To investigate the mechanisms that governs the appropriate innervation of hair cells, as is outlined in their report, the project conducted a systematic and comprehensive study of the processes that underlie the elaboration and remodelling of sensory-neuronal architecture in the lateral-line organ. They showed that afferent neurons are strict selectors of polarity that can re-establish synapses with identically oriented targets during hair-cell regeneration. They also showed that in zebrafish with absent hair-cell mechano-reception (deaf fish mutants), lateralis afferents arborise profusely in the periphery, display less stability, and make improper target selections.

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