Tue, 02/06/2015 - 14:15
Campus Saarbr├╝cken, Geb. E2 6, E04

Prof. Dr. Frank Kirchhoff
Host: Prof. Dr. Heiko Rieger
Department of Molecular Physiology, CIPMM, Saarland University, Homburg

Analysis of neuron-glia interactions in the mouse brain by two-photon laser-scanning microcopy

By and large, the human brain consists of approximately 160 billion cells that mainly represent two types, classified as neurons and glia, each contributing about 50% to the total cell number. Glial cells can be roughly subdivided into astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglia. All of them are crucially involved in virtually every aspect of nervous system function, from early embryonic development to neurodegeneration and regeneration.

We have generated a series of transgenic mouse models to selectively label glial cell population with fluorescent proteins of different spectral properties. In combination with two-photon laser-scanning microscopy, we investigated morphological cell-cell interactions in the living mouse. In addition, we are using cell-specific genetically encoded calcium indicators to visualize signaling activities at the network level, even in awake mice.

Taking further advantage of glia-specific receptor knockout mice and behavioral experiments we can now link physiological and pathophysiological processes at molecular, cellular and system levels.

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