Tuesday, November 13, 2012

They're moving the finishing line!!!

Dear reader,

it's been a while (again) since I last posted here. I have been caught up in the whirlwind that is called "finishing your thesis". I hoped the storm would have died down a little bit, but if anything, the gale has been growing stronger.

Last week I finished the one manuscript that was supposedly between me and a thesis. Unfortunately, it turns out non-finished manuscript #2 also needs to become a finished manuscript. So, my assumption that I would go back to more normal, less frantic, working was false. At the moment I'm in full swing getting insane electrophysiology done. I'm talking 'whole cell in-vivo at 2mm depth with a perfusion electrode nearby' crazy electrophysiology. It's an unpublished thing we developed, so I can't be too specific. But, needless to say these experiments suck b*lls when you're in a hurry finishing things.

Then there's a lot of histology that needs to be done. Some simple recovery of patched neurons and testing a new antibody that we need for immuno-EM. I heard it's always wise to learn a new technique during the last weeks or months of your thesis work (not), so I'm going to do EM now as well (Jeeeej!!!!).

On the bright side, I have been looking for good estimations of the number or density of cells in the cerebellar cortex. After some cries for help and google scholar searched I have come to the conclusion that no-one ever put all things together. So, I compiled an estimate based on a collection of literature. It all seems to point (roughly) to the same estimation: (in cells per cubic millimeter mouse cerebellum)
Purkinje cells: 20,000
Granule cells: 2.63 million
Mol. Layer Intern: 100,000
Golgi cells: 4,500
I was quite surprised with the Golgi cells being so low. Still, they have an amazing axonal branching pattern, so they can provide a large number of granule cells with inhibition. Also, the high number of interneurons in the molecular layer surprised me. So, the ration MLI:PC seem to be 2:1, quite surprising....
Where did I get this knowledge you ask?

Lange (1974) Cell and Tissue Research 153:219-26
Woodruff-Pak (2006) Neuroscience 141:233-43
Dugue (2009) Neuron 61:126-39
Sturrock (1989) Journal fur Hirnforschung 30(4):499-503
Altman (1977) Exp Brain Res 29:265-74

ps. I still love science, don't be alarmed ;-)

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