Cole Ferguson (MSTP Graduate Student, Meisler, Lab), Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan Medical School
This image shows the region of the brain known as the cerebellum, which is essential for the execution of coordinated movement. The green cells are a specialized form of support cell known as Bergmann glia, which play vital roles in neuronal function and the response to neuronal injury. The image shown is from a mouse with severe neurodegeneration and movement disorder due to mutation in the gene Fig4, which is required for the breakdown of sub-cellular components. A protein that accumulates when this turnover process, known as macroautophagy, is impaired is shown in yellow. Mutation of the Fig4 Gene in humans causes Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4J, a severe neuropathy with movement disorder, weakness and sensory loss.