Stanford Neurosciences Institute Seminar Series Presents
De novo synaptogenesis regulated by GABA Hyungbae Kwon, PhD Research Group Leader, Max-Planck Florida Institute
Host: Lisa Giocomo
The formation of excitatory and inhibitory synapses between neurons during early brain development gives rise to the neuronal networks that enable sensory or cognitive functions in humans. This initial process of synapse formation is regulated by genetically programmed intrinsic mechanisms and further shaped by neuronal activity. However, the spatiotemporal mechanisms that control activity-dependent excitatory and inhibitory synapse formation are not yet known. In particular, we have not acquired much knowledge about the detailed mechanisms that govern inhibitory synapse development. This knowledge gap has hampered our understanding of the mechanisms by which neurons achieve a proper balance between excitatory and inhibitory synapses within a dendrite. We approach these questions using novel fine-scale, optical techniques that allow us to create artificial, spatiotemporally-controlled patterns of neurotransmitter release in the dendrite and monitor how they influence synapse formation during early postnatal development.