R David Heathcote

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The differentiation of an identified sensory neuron, the grasshopper wing hinge Stretch Receptor (SR), is examined throughout embryogenesis. The morphological features of the SR axon, as it finds its path from the peripheral cell body to the CNS, and the timing of this peripheral growth were determined by intracellular injection of Lucifer yellow. The(More)
In the frog Xenopus laevis, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-immunoreactive spinal cord neurons (Kolmer-Agduhr cells) formed a dispersed pattern within two columns on either side of the midline. The cellular pattern became established during embryonic and larval development. The GABA-immunoreactive cells are cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-contacting neurons that(More)
The neural plate is induced during gastrulation when the organizer affects the ectoderm around it. Recent experiments show that axial mesoderm can stimulate formation of specific ventral cell types in the spinal cord, including floor plate, motor neurons, and several types of interneurons. We have eliminated or disrupted axial mesoderm by using a variety of(More)
In the developing spinal cord of the frog, Xenopus laevis, a population of interneurons assumes a pattern that represents a previously undescribed level of organization. Glyoxylic acid treatment and immunocytochemistry show that the neurons contain catecholamines and their synthetic enzyme, tyrosine hydroxylase. Cells are located within the ependymal layer(More)
During embryonic and larval development of the frog Xenopus laevis, a bilateral population of cerebrospinal fluid-contacting neurons matures in the ventral spinal cord. These cells are catecholaminergic and form a dispersed or nonrandom pattern of spacing within each of their spinal cord columns. In order to test the mechanisms underlying pattern formation(More)
Dystroglycan is a member of the transmembrane dystrophin glycoprotein complex in muscle that binds to the synapse-organizing molecule agrin. Dystroglycan binding and AChR aggregation are mediated by two separate domains of agrin. To test whether dystroglycan plays a role in receptor aggregation at the neuromuscular junction, we overexpressed it by injecting(More)
The morphogenesis of individual neurons was investigated in the cardiac ganglion of the frog. Intracellular injection of horseradish peroxidase shows that mature neurons lack dendrites and have a single axon. Early in development, more than half of the neurons are multipolar and have as many as four processes emanating from their cell body. The most likely(More)
Synapse formation involves a large number of macromolecules found in both presynaptic nerve terminals and postsynaptic cells. Many of the molecules involved in synaptogenesis of the neuromuscular junction have been discovered through morphological localization to the synapse and functional cell culture assays, but their role in embryonic development has(More)
Dopaminergic spinal cord neurons differentiate in the ventral spinal cord in a nonrandom dispersed pattern. To test whether Notch signaling was involved in generating the pattern of this neuron population as with others, we overexpressed a constitutively active form of Xenopus Notch (XotchDeltaE) in developing frog embryos. Overexpression was targeted to(More)