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Christine’s completion

Congratulations to Christine Rehaluk on her recent successful defense of her Masters thesis in physiology!
“Electron Microscopy Analysis of the Gap Junctions of the Adult Caenorhabditis elegans
Christine studied the bi-directional flow of charged ions and small metabolites through the gap junction pores. From two wildtype adult samples prepared using a Zhen lab protocol (a modified fixation protocol that allows better appearance of gap junctions in the C. elegans brain), Christine completed gap junction annotation, assessing the gap junctions where three innexin proteins that form gap junctions have been removed. Her results show that many gap junctions that reside in the wildtype brains are absent from the triple innexin mutant, validating that the fixation protocol has sufficient specificity for structural mapping of the gap junction connectome. Her comparison between two wildtype gap junction connectomes, as well as with that of the legacy wildtype connectomes, showed that at least some gap junctions are different between four wildtype individuals. The results are consistent with potential wiring differences among an isogenic population, a notion that has been recently validated for the chemical synapse connections.