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Mitochondrial Mechanisms of Neuronal Injury.

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Annual rept. 1 Sep 98-31 Aug 99

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This project is designed to investigate intracellular signaling mechanisms associated with neuronal cell injury. In the acute form, this injury accounts for neural injury following stroke and head trauma, while in the chronic phenotype, it may account for degenerative diseases such as Parkinsons disease. Our preliminary studies have suggested that mitochondria play a pivotal role in the signaling processes that result in neuronal death. Accordingly, we have designed a series of experiments that are intended to elucidate the mechanisms by which mitochondria contribute to neuronal death, with the ultimate goal of identifying strategies for neuroprotection that can be applied to both acute and chronic disease states. In this project period we have completed a study that helps us to understand the impact of potential neurotoxins on mitochondria function. We have essentially completed the construction of an imaging system for performing spatially are temporally resolved fluorescence imaging of mitochondria function. We have also identified several novel features of mitochondria function in neurons, including spontaneous depolarization of unknown origin. We have also begun the characterization of several new fluorescent probes for mitochondria function. Thus, we have made solid progress in the initial period of this project.

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  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Toxicology

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