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4 mai

Ralf Schneggenburger Function, plasticity and development of specific brain synapses

Invité par Pierre Paoletti et German Sumbre

11h à 12h30

Le séminaire de Ralf Schneggenburger (Laboratory of Synaptic Mechanism, EPFL) aura lieu dans la salle Favard, IBENS 46 rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris


Nerve cells in the brain form intricate neuronal circuits, and communicate with each other at excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Our lab is interested in understanding the mechanisms which determine the specific structure and function of synapses during brain development. We use the auditory system of the mouse brain as a model system, which has highly specialized synapses (the "Calyx of Held" and others). The genetic accessibility of the mouse allows us to manipulate specific types of neurons, and to study the role of specific proteins in the refinement and plasticity of synapses. We could show previously that bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), a classical morphogen protein, is necessary for establishing large excitatory monosynaptic connections in the auditory brainstem (Xiao et al. 2013). I will also present new data on the plasticity of inhibitory synapses in the auditory cortex during a critical time window. Thus, mechanisms of synapse plasticity at the interface between genetically encoded mechanisms and use-dependent plasticity, will ultimately influence the wiring of neuronal circuits.

Recent reference :
Xiao et al. (2013) BMP signaling specifies the development of a large and fast CNS synapse. Nat Neuroscience 16, 856-864.