Patricia Gaspar

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New genetic models that target the serotonin system show that transient alterations in serotonin homeostasis cause permanent changes to adult behaviour and modify the fine wiring of brain connections. These findings have revived a long-standing interest in the developmental role of serotonin. Molecular genetic approaches are now showing us that different(More)
Deficiency in monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), an enzyme that degrades serotonin and norepinephrine, has recently been shown to be associated with aggressive behavior in men of a Dutch family. A line of transgenic mice was isolated in which transgene integration caused a deletion in the gene encoding MAOA, providing an animal model of MAOA deficiency. In pup(More)
Until recently, views on the organization and role of the mesotelencephalic dopaminergic (DA) systems were mostly based on studies of rodents, and it was assumed that homology existed across mammalian species. However, recent studies of both human and non-human primates indicate that this might not be so. The mesocortical DA system in primates, which is(More)
The corpus callosum (CC) is the main pathway responsible for interhemispheric communication. CC agenesis is associated with numerous human pathologies, suggesting that a range of developmental defects can result in abnormalities in this structure. Midline glial cells are known to play a role in CC development, but we here show that two transient populations(More)
In a transgenic mouse line (Tg8) deficient for the gene encoding monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), we show that the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) lacks the characteristic barrel-like clustering of layer IV neurons, whereas normal pattern formation exists in the thalamus and the trigeminal nuclei. No barrel-like patterns were visible with tenascin or serotonin(More)
Ranvier nodes are flanked by paranodal regions, at the level of which oligodendrocytes or Schwann cells interact closely with axons. Paranodes play a critical role in the physiological properties of myelinated nerve fibers. Paranodin, a prominent 180 kDa transmembrane neuronal glycoprotein, was purified and cloned from adult rat brain, and found to be(More)
The dopaminergic input to the frontal cortex has an important role in motor and cognitive functions. These effects are mediated by dopamine receptors both of type D1 and of type D2, although the neural circuits involved are not completely understood. We used in situ hybridization to determine the cellular localization of D1 and D2 receptor mRNAs in the rat(More)
Type I lissencephaly results from mutations in the doublecortin (DCX) and LIS1 genes. We generated Dcx knockout mice to further understand the pathophysiological mechanisms associated with this cortical malformation. Dcx is expressed in migrating interneurons in developing human and mouse brains. Video microscopy analyses of such tangentially migrating(More)
In the rodent primary somatosensory cortex, the thalamocortical axons (TCAs) are organized into clusters that correspond to functional units in the periphery. Around these axons, neurons in layer IV aggregate as barrels. To understand how this organization emerges, we analyzed TCA development in mice that do not form barrels, the monoamine oxidase A(More)
The disruptive effect of excessive serotonin (5-HT) levels on the development of cortical sensory maps is mediated by 5-HT1B receptors, as shown in barrelless monoamine oxidase A knock-out mice, in which the additional inactivation of 5-HT1B receptors restores the barrels. However, it is unclear whether 5-HT1B receptors mediate their effect on barrel(More)