Project R-8177

Title

Molecular control of microglial motility by P27 Kip1.

Abstract

The development of the brain is a complex event in which disturbances result in brain malformation, brain dysfunction and developmental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. Microglia are the immune cells of the brain and participate in brain development and homeostasis. Microglia are responsible for the pruning of excessive connections in the brain and they do this by a process called phagocytosis. In order to perform their tasks at the right time and place, microglia invade and migrate in the brain. Both phagocytosis and migration of microglia Special Research Fund 2017 Call for Doctoral grants in the framework of ULg-UHasselt cooperation require a decent control of the cell's movement or 'motility'. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating this microglial motility remain largely unknown. In developing neurons on the other hand P27 (cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p27kip1) is identified as a protein that regulates migration trough modulation of the cellular skeleton. Because the expression of p27 has been detected in microglia and the microglial motility involves rearrangements of the cellular skeleton, we hypothesize that p27 controls motility dependent tasks in microglia such as migration and phagocytosis in neurodevelopment. This project will improve the understanding of brain development and lead to further steps regarding dysfunction of microglia in neurological disorders.

Period of project

01 October 2017 - 30 September 2021