Stanford Neurosciences Institute Seminar Series Presents
Decoding the brain serotonergic system: From breathing to behavior
Susan Dymecki, MD, Ph.D
Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
Host: Carolyn Rodriguez
Cellular heterogeneity within the brain serotonergic system is proving substantial and likely parallels the wide diversity of effects modulated by serotonin - from sensory processing to cognitive control and motivated behaviors to autonomic responses. Anatomical topography has been used to subdivide groups of serotonin neurons. In this talk, genetic tools and findings will be presented that redefine the serotonergic structure-function map, superimposing onto topography new serotonin cell-subtype information, from molecular expression to efferent bouton locations to modulated organismal behavior. Specifically, our new mapping resolution plots (1) serotonergic developmental cell lineage, (2) cell groups based on unbiased clustering analyses of global gene expression profiles, (3) cellular electrophysiological properties registered within the context of lineage and transcriptomic information, (4) efferent projections of the serotonergic neuron molecular subtypes including terminal and en passant bouton locations as a first step in connectivity mapping, and (5) specific organismal behaviors and physiological processes altered upon in vivo, neuron-subtype silencing. Highlighted will be multiple distinct molecular and functional subtypes of serotonergic neurons.