Appetite, Biological clock, Zebrafish models
Department: Neurobiology
Faculty: Life Sciences
Tel Aviv University

Dr. Gothilf Yoav

Research Activity
The Circadian Clock system
All organisms demonstrate a wide variety of behavioral and physiological daily rhythms that are driven by an evolutionary conserved endogenous circadian clock mechanism. Maintenance of circadian rhythms is crucial for the physical and mental wellbeing, and disruption of the rhythms increases susceptibility to diseases and psychiatric disorders. Utilizing the zebrafish model and cutting edge technologies, current research in our laboratory focuses on several aspects of the circadian clock: The function, development, synchronization, localization, and importance of the circadian clock system in the life of the organism.

Hypothalamic Control of Reproduction and its Development
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons are key regulators of reproduction in all vertebrates. These neurons undergo extensive migration during development, from the olfactory placode to the hypothalamus where they stimulate gonadotropin secretion thereby controlling gametogenesis. Correct course of migration, positioning and regulation of these neurons are crucial for reproductive fitness. We study the mechanisms of this neuronal migration, the role of gene associated with hypogonadism in humans, and the regulation of GnRH neurons.
Zebrafish as a Model for Alzheimer’s disease
With the aim of developing a new model for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), transgenic zebrafish lines that express molecular hallmarks of the disease were generated. These fish express the mutated human APP gene and the human apoE4 allele which are associated with a high risk for early onset familial AD and sporadic AD, respectively. The pathological effects of the transgenes are being examined in these fish using biochemical and histological methodologies, real time imaging techniques and behavioral tests.

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