The Piao laboratory studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cell migration in the brain. The research projects are aimed at investigating how cells interact with their extracellular matrix during normal brain development as well as in the case of neurological diseases. A combination of mouse genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, proteomics, imaging techniques, and ex vivo and in vivo electroporation are used to accomplish our research goals.
Left: In the absence of collagen III, cells migrate out from the neurosphere. Double IHC of Nestin (green) and Tuj1 (red) of the cultured neurospheres reveals the predominant overmigrated cells are postmitotic neurons.
Middle: The presence of collagen III inhibits neuronal migration.
Right: Regional breaks of the pial basement membrane in the absence of GPR56. Double IHC of laminin (red) and Tuj1 (green) at embryonic stage E12.8 reveals a linear break of the pial basement membrane concurrent with neuronal overmigration in a Gpr56 knockout mutant mouse brain.