(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)
Title: Second messenger mechanisms of neuronal activities: cGMP-mediated neurite initiation and contact-related cell death in N1E-115 neuroblastoma cells
Student Author(s): Gourley, Erin J
Faculty Advisor(s): Thompson, Stuart
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1993
Abstract: In N1E-115 neuroblastoma cells, observations made with time-lapse photography under bright field microscopy provide insight into the molecular mechanisms behind two distinct phenomena: neurite initiation and cell death. A statistically significant increase in the incidence of neurite intiation occurs upon elevation of intracellular concentrations of cGMP by use of a membrane permeant derivative: dibutyryl cGMP. Data are consistent with a model describing cGMP production by nitric oxide activation of guanylyl cyclase as at least in part responsible for cGMP-mediated neurite intiation both in the absence and presence of carbachol stimulation. The neuroblastoma cells exhibit a novel form of neuronal death when exposed to carbachol. deaths occur upon contact of a growing neurite from one cell on to the soma of another; in some instances the cell that dies is the target of the "contacting neurite," while in others the owner of the contacting neurite dies. A proposal is offered concerning the involvement of nitric oxide in this event.