Neuromodulator-driven astrocytic signaling

 In vivo Ca2+ imaging of cortical astrocytes during resting state (right) and neuromodulator-driven activated state (left) in a G-CaMP7 transgenic mouse

Glial cells express G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) for mood-related neuromodulators, such as noradrenaline and acetylcholine; however, the impact of glial GPCR activation on brain functions remains to be investigated. One of the long-term goals of my laboratory is to understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of various glial GPCR signaling. To this end, we developed transgenic mice and viral vectors to express fluorescent functional indicators of GPCR second messengers (e.g. Ca2+ and cAMP). We will investigate how and when glial GPCR signaling occurs as well as the output of glial GPCR signaling on neural networks. The latter is in part probed by optogenetically activated GPCRs in behaving rodents.

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