Faculty and Research Interests
Tony M. Plant
Ph.D., University of London
Two areas of research are being pursued by Dr. Plant. The first is directed at elucidating the neurobiological mechanisms that govern the ontogeny of pulsatile GnRH secretion throughout development in the monkey, and that therefore dictate the timing of the onset of puberty in this species. Currently, the notion that the pubertal resurgence of pulsatile GnRH release is triggered by an increase in hypothalamic KiSS-1 expression and GPR54 signalling in association with a structural remodelling of hypothalamic neural networks is being pursued. The second interest of the laboratory focuses on the developmental mechanisms underlying the spermatogenic ceiling of the adult testis. Proliferation and survival of Sertoli cells and undifferentiated (male germline stem cells) and differentiated spermatogonia in the monkey testis are being examined using cellular and imaging techniques in collaboration with other groups within the Center. Fellows work as co-investigators, and receive training in (i) neuroendocrine control systems with particular emphasis on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, (ii) contemporary cell imaging techniques, (iii) analysis of gene expressing using RNAse protection, RT-PCR and in situ hybridization, and (iv) surgical techniques, including stereotaxic, roentgenographic, and intravenous and intracerebroventricular catheterization.
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