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Polygence Scholar2020
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Rohit Duggaraju

Westmont High SchoolClass of 2021San Jose, CA



  • "Retinal Ganglion Cell Development and Its Effects on Neural Systems" with mentor Trevor (Sept. 20, 2021)

Rohit's Symposium Presentation

Project Portfolio

Retinal Ganglion Cell Development and Its Effects on Neural Systems

Started Nov. 23, 2020

Abstract or project description

This paper reviews Retinal Progenitor Cell (RPC) development and fate, development of Retinal Ganglion Cells (RGCs) and different parts of RGCs (axon, dendrite, and synapses), and the interactions between RGCs and other cells in the different neural circuits of the brain. In the field of RPC development, the Ciliary Marginal Zone of the retina is an RPC niche, and RPC differentiation is driven probabilistically rather than deterministically. The intrinsic and extrinsic factors that control this probability include notch signaling pathways, Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGF), Hedgehog morphogens, Igf signaling, transcription factors, and microRNA. They affect mechanisms such as the proliferation of RPCs, and more. In the field of RGC development, many features of dendrite development and remodeling have been discovered, including transcription factors controlling dendrite guidance and how action potentials are unnecessary for proper development. The growth of the axon initial segment stems from the cisternal organelle and light input during development, and the myelin sheath is a very plastic region during development that changes in length and features depending on location and other factors. RGCs form synapses with amacrine and bipolar cells in the IPL. These synapses, and gap junctions, develop and affect the receptive fields of RGCs. RGCs also interact with glial cells, amacrine cells, and bipolar cells, which play regulatory roles for RGCs. The regions of the brain that RGCs project to and affect include the circadian system, defense response system, and memory circuits. RGCs play a large role in the proper function of each of these systems.