The expression of the small heat shock protein Hsp25 in the embryonic chick cerebellum

  • Jennifer Flood Mount Royal University
  • Carol Armstrong* Mount Royal University


The embryonic chick is an ideal model for studying pattern formation in the cerebellum due to the easily accessible embryo at all stages of development. The newly-hatched chick is precocial - able to stand, walk and run within hours. Despite a similar length gestation, mouse pups are altricial (immature, immobile) at birth and locomotor development takes weeks: it is plausible that this difference in coordinated motor movement may be reflected in the timing of protein expression patterns in the cerebellum. In the present study, we used western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry to determine the expression of an additional Purkinje cell ‘patterning’ antigen - the small heat shock protein Hsp25. This embryonic expression precedes that seen in neonatal mice by nearly a week. The earlier/accelerated timing of these antigens in the embryonic chick cerebellum as compared to the mouse may reflect the precocial character (e.g. motor co-ordination, mobility) of chicks at hatch. This study will broaden our understanding of the specific patterning and organization of the developing avian cerebellum and provide the foundation for further studies designed to investigate the function of Hsp25 in cerebellar Purkinje cells.

* Indicates faculty mentor.

Poster Abstracts - Biological Science