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Tuesday, January 28 2020
Room 1005, Roger A. and Helen B. Krone Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB), 950 Atlantic Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30332
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Astrocyte-Neuron Communication During Synapse Development

Isabella Farhy-Tselnicker, Ph.D
Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory
Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Correct establishment of neuronal synapses during development is crucial for proper brain function. Synaptic deficits have been linked to neurological disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, however, the underlying cellular mechanisms are still poorly understood. Astrocytes, a major type of glial cells, play a key role in synaptogenesis by secreting factors that regulate multiple aspects of synapse formation and function. To find novel treatment avenues, it is critical to identify the mechanisms of astrocyte-neuron communication that regulate synapse formation under normal and pathological conditions.

In this talk I describe my recently published findings, identifying the mechanism by which the astrocyte secreted factor, Glypican 4, induces formation of active synapses. I further describe my ongoing work investigating the regulation of astrocyte derived synapse-promoting genes expression by neuronal and astrocyte activity. My findings provide important insights into the complex interaction between astrocytes and neurons in the developing brain, and establish a framework for future studies of astrocyte roles at the synapse.

Host: Matthew Torres, Ph.D.

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