Lab: HSC 2077
University of Calgary
3330 Hospital Drive N.W.
Calgary, AB T2N 4N1
PubMed: Click here
Lab: (403) 210-9307
We are currently exploring three lines of investigation:
- We have demonstrated that glial cells can permanently increase the strength of excitatory, glutamatergic synapses in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. We are now focused on elucidating the extent of this novel interaction between glial cells and neurons and will examine the role of this interaction during physiological challenges.
- Based on new observations that homeostatic set points in vivo are defended by metaplastic synaptic changes, we are now exploring additional mechanisms through which the activity-dependent release of retrograde signals impacts synaptic transmission.
- The inhibitory synapses onto neuroendocrine parvocellular neurons, the "command" neurons of the stress axis, exhibit remarkable state-dependent plasticity. We have shown that the onset of stress is accompanied by a loss of GABA inhibition due to a collapse of transmembrane chloride gradients. We are now pursuing the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underline this remarkable switch. Furthermore, we are exploring the impact of repetitive stress on synaptic function/plasticity in this system.
We use a number of experimental techiques to answer the above questions. These include, but are not limited to: patch clamp recordings from neurons in brain slices for the measurement of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic currents; UV laser uncaging of bioactive molecules; immunohistochemistry for the labeling of receptors and neuronal subpopulations.
Adrienne Benediktsson, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Wataru Inoue, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow winoue [at] ucalgary [dot] ca
Brent Kuzmiski, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow jbkuzmis [at] hotmail [dot] com
Karl Iremonger, PhD Graduate student kjiremon [at] ucalgary [dot] ca
Jaclyn Wamsteeker, PhD Graduate student jiwamste [at] ucalgary [dot] ca