Cell Biology of Neural Development

The main objective of our group is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neural differentiation, from the early process of nervous sytem formation (known as neurulation), to neuronal differentiation. For this, we mainly use zebrafish (Danio rerio) and chick (Gallus gallus) embryos. 

From left to right in the picture: Lucía V., Gonzalo, Magela, Camila, Flavio, Lucía M., Santiago B., Santiago L.

Principal Investigator: Flavio R. Zolessi

Current members: Dr. Camila Davison, Gonzalo Aparicio (PhD student, PEDECIBA), Magela Rodao (PhD student, PEDECIBA); Lucía Veloz (PhD student, PEDECIBA); Santiago Bosch (Master student, PEDECIBA); Lucía Mustto (undergraduate student); Santiago Licandro (undergraduate student).

Associated researchers and students: Dr. Paola Lepanto  (IPMon; former PhD student).

Previous members: Mag. Ileana Sosa (IPMon; former Master student); Dr. Daniel Prieto (IIBCE: former Master student), Dr. Lucía Ruiz (former undergraduate student).

Main recent publications:

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Sharkova M, Aparicio G, Mouzaaber C, Zolessi FR, Hocking JC (2023) Development and characteristics of photoreceptor actin-based apical processes in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Preprint: bioRxiv doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.10.04.560921

Davison C, Bedó G, Zolessi FR (2022) Zebrafish Slit2 and Slit3 act together to regulate retinal axon crossing at the midline. J. Dev. Biol. 10(4), 41. doi: 10.3390/jdb10040041 Preprint: bioRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.08.12.503757

Veloz L, Bosch SA, Aparicio G, Zolessi FR (2022) Cell extrusion in development and cancer, what MARCKS the difference for epithelial integrity? BIOCELL 46(3) 639-644. doi:10.32604/biocell.2022.018798.

Davison C, Zolessi FR (2021) Slit2 is necessary for optic axon organization in the zebrafish ventral midline. Cells Dev, 203677. doi: 10.1016/j.cdev.2021.203677  Preprint: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.25.314062v3

Lupo G, Piper M, Zolessi FR (2021) Editorial: Context-dependent regulation of neurogenesis: common themes and unique features of the neurogenic process in different model systems. Front. Cell Dev. Biol. 9:678475. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2021.678475.

Zolessi FR, Berois N, Brauer MM, Castillo E (2021) Building the embryo of developmental biology in Uruguay. Intl J Devl Biol 65: 71 - 76. doi: 10.1387/ijdb.200141fz 

Aparicio G, Rodao M, Badano JL, Zolessi FR (2021) Photoreceptor progenitor dynamics in the zebrafish embryo retina and its modulation by primary cilia and N-cadherin. Int. J. Dev. Biol. 65: 439 - 455. doi: 10.1387/ijdb.200113fz. Preprint: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.13.947663v1

Lepanto P, Zolessi FR, Badano JL (2019) Studying human genetic variation in zebrafish. En: Cellular and Animal Models in Human Genomics Research (Translational and Applied Genomics Series). Eds.: Walz K, Young JI. San Diego: Elsevier Inc./Academic Press. Pg. 89-117.

Optical section of a 3 days-old zebrafish embryo retina, where retinal ganglion cells )magenta), actin filaments (yellow) and DNA (cyan) were labeled. Flavio Zolessi

Two-day old chick embryo section, showing the optic cup and the invaginating lens placode, labeled to show the presence of MARCKS protein (green) and actin filaments (red). Flavio Zolessi

Section of a neurulating chick embryo, showing part of the neural plate, where actin filaments (red) and DNA (cyan) were labeled. Gonzalo Aparicio

Optical section of a zebrafish embryo (3 days), showing part of the retina, optic nerve and optic chiasm. Retinal ganglion cells were labeled both using a specific antibody (blue) and by transient transgenic GFP expression (yellow). Camila Davison

Aparicio G, Arruti C, Zolessi FR (2018) MARCKS phosphorylation by PKC strongly impairs cell polarity in the chick neural plate. Genesis, Mar 30. doi: 10.1002/dvg.23104.

Prieto D, Zolessi FR (2017) Functional diversification of the four MARCKS family members in zebrafish neural development. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 328(1-2):119-138. doi: 10.1002/jez.b.22691.

Lepanto P, Badano JL, Zolessi FR (2016) Neuron’s little helper: the role of primary cilia in neurogenesis. Neurogenesis. 3:1, e1253363. 

Lepanto P, Davison C, Casanova G, Badano JL, Zolessi FR (2016) Characterization of primary cilia during the differentiation of retinal ganglion cells in the zebrafish. Neural Dev. 11(1):10. doi: 10.1186/s13064-016-0064-z. Recomendado por F1000.  

Zolessi FR (2016) Vertebrate neurogenesis: cell polarity (v. 3). Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (Wiley). DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0000826.pub3

Prieto D, Aparicio G, Machado M, Zolessi FR (2015) Application of the DNA-Specific Stain Methyl Green in the Fluorescent Labeling of Embryos. J. Vis. Exp. (99), e52769, doi: 10.3791/52769. Artículo y video gratis en PMC.

Paolini A, Duchemin AL, Albadri S, Patzel E, Bornhorst D, González Avalos P, Lemke S, Machate A, Brand M, Sel S, Di Donato V, Del Bene F, Zolessi FR, Ramialison M, Poggi L. (2015) Asymmetric inheritance of the apical domain and self-renewal of retinal ganglion cell progenitors depend on Anillin function. Development 142(5): 832-9. doi: 10.1242/dev.118612

Prieto D, Aparicio G, Morande PE, Zolessi FR (2014) A fast, low cost, and highly efficient fluorescent DNA labeling method using methyl green. Histochem Cell Biol 142(3):335-45. doi: 10.​1007/​s00418-014-1215-0

Tinoco LW, Fraga JL, AnoBom CD, Zolessi FR, Obal G, Toledo A, Pritsch O, Arruti C (2014) Structural characterization of a neuroblast-specific phosphorylated region of MARCKS. Biochim Biophys Acta 1844(4): 837-849.

The BCDN at the III Bioscience National Congress, 2022