Keck School of Medicine Events

In Vivo Optogenetic Manipulation of Cells within the Neurovascular Unit Leads to Local Changes in Neural Activity

ZNI Special Seminar
June 2014
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Herklotz Seminar Room, ZNI 112

Tyler Brown, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neuroscience
Brown Institute for Brain Science, Brown University
Former Scientific Editor, Neuron
The coordinated activity of neurons, astrocytes, and vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells, is known as the neurovascular unit. Communication and plasticity in the neurovascular unit may play an important role in how neural networks adapt to the ongoing demands of sensory processing or encode synaptic changes during learning and memory. Disrupted signaling in vascular cells has been linked to breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and several pathological conditions, including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and stroke. In almost all biological systems, interactions between networks are bidirectional. Despite the potential importance of neuronal and glial signaling to blood vessels for replenishing metabolic nutrients and removing cellular waste products, little is known regarding the potential for millisecond-to-second time-scale signaling from the vasculature to neural or glial cells. To this end, we have developed multiple optogenetic and two-photon imaging methods that allow simultaneous visualization and causal manipulation of cells within the neurovascular unit.

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