The role of glutamate receptors in hippocampus-mediated learning, emotional behaviors and mood disorders

Sprengel Rolf Sprengel

Deparment of Molecular Neurobiology
MPI for Medical Research
Jahnstr. 29
69120 Heidelberg

Phone:  +49-6221-486101
Fax:  +49-6221-486119

Research Summary

Synaptic plasticity can be considered as subcellular mechanism underlying learning and memory. The ionotropic glutamate receptors, and in particular the NMDA and AMPA receptors, are crucial for the induction and the establishment of synaptic plasticity. We used cell type and subregions specific genetic deletion of selected subtypes of NMDA and AMPA receptors to generate mice with very specific impairment in spatial learning, and we used behavioural analysis to dissect different forms of hiippocampal based memories. Now we are using virus mediated delivery of genetic activity indicators to monitor neuronal and glial activity in those mice with impaired learning. The ensemble activity of neurone and glia cells will be analysed in acute hippocamapal slices or in vivo using 2Photon microscopy and analysed in respect to synaptic plasticity and learning behaviour. In addition the connectivity pattern of our well established animal models with learning impairments and novel mouse models with cognitive dysfunctions will be analysed using modern methods for complex connectivity analysis. In future work, we might also analyse tglial activity patterns in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord in models of acute and chronic pain.

Our experimental research will be performed in close collaboration with Prof. E. Nagelhus at the Letten Cetre of the University of Oslo (Norway) and with Prof. Jinny Kim at the Center for Functional Connectomics at the Koreans Institute of Science And Technology in Seoul (South Korea).

Structure of the Group

Group Leader:  Rolf Sprengel
Postdoctoral fellows:  Ilaria Bertocchi
PhD Students:  Desiree Ditzel
Undergraduates:  Hannah Jakobi, Mathias Schwarz
Technicians:  Annette Herold


Editor: Email
Latest Revision: 2014-09-01
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