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- DescriptionTheneurotransmitter dopamine has just celebrated its 50thbirthday. The discovery of dopamine as a neuronal entity in the late 1950s and the tion that it serves in neurotransmission has been a milestone in the field of neuroscience research. This milestone marked the beginning of an era that explored the brain as an integrated collection of neuronal systems that one could distinguish on basis of neurotransm- ter identities, and importantly, in which one started to be able to pinpoint the seat of brain disease. The mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA) system, previously designated as midbraindopaminergic system, has received much attention since its discovery. The initial identification of dopamine as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS) and its relevance to psychiatric and neurological disorders have stimulated a plethora of neurochemical, pharmacological and genetic studies into the function of dopamine neurons and theirprojections. In the last decade, studies on gene expression and development have further increased the kwledge of this neuronal population and have unmasked a new level of complexity. The start of the molecular dissection of the mdDA system has been marked by the cloning and characterization ofNurrl and Pitx3. These transcription factors were shown to have a critical function during mdDA development. These initial studies have been followed by the identification of many other proteins, which have a crucial function in the creation of a dopamine neuron permissive region, induction of precursors, induction of terminaldifferent- tion and finally maintenance of the mdDA neuronal pool.
- Author BiographyR. Jeroen Pasterkamp is an Assistant Professor at the Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. The focus of his laboratory is directed towards understanding the molecular and intracellular signaling events involved in the formation of neuronal connections with a particular focus on the developing dopamine system. His research team concentrates on the developing mouse embryo using an integrated approach involving molecular biology, cell biology, in vivo functional proteomics, and mouse genetics. He received his PhD from the Netherlands Institute for Neurosciences (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and did his Postdoctoral at the Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA. Marten Smidt is an Associate Professor at the Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. The focus of his laboratory is directed towards understanding the developmental processes that underlie neuronal differentiation and specification. The main focus has been the development of mesodiencephalic dopamine neurons. The work includes mouse genetics, molecular genetics and molecular biology. Marten Smidt received his PhD from the University of Groningen (Groningen, The Netherlands) and did his postdoctoral at Utrecht University, Department of Medical Pharmacology, Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience (Utrecht, The Netherlands). J. Peter H. Burbach is professor of Molecular Neuroscience at Utrecht University and head of the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. His research interests concern the role of transcription factors in development and regulation of peptidergic and dopaminergic neurons, and the molecular mechanisms of human neurodevelopmental disorders. He received his PhD from Utrecht University and did postdoctoral work at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, Canada. He obtained professorships in Molecular Biology and Molecular Neuroendocrinology. Since 2001 he is a Summer scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, USA.
- PublisherSpringer-Verlag New York Inc.
- Date of Publication09/12/2014
- SubjectMedicine: General
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintSpringer-Verlag New York Inc.
- Weight238 g
- Width155 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine8 mm
- Edited byJ. Peter H. Burbach,Jeroen R. Pasterkamp,Marten P. Smidt
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