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Research Departments >Functional and Systems Neurobiology department > Neurophysiology and Synaptic Plasticity Laboratory> Research Report

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Neurophysiology and Synaptic Plasticity Laboratory

RESEARCH REPORT

Our group is focused in the study of the cellular processes and molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of synaptic transmission. We are particularly interested in the ability of neurons to regulate the synaptic strength over time, a process called synaptic plasticity, which is crucial both during physiological and pathological conditions of the Nervous System (NS).

Our goal is to determine the cellular and synaptic mechanisms involved in the neuronal plasticity changes mediated by Endocrine System (ES) during particularly physiological conditions such as pregnancy and lactation. We propose a multidisciplinary approach to study different aspects of ES-NS interaction, from changes in intracellular calcium signaling, effects on synaptic transmission, remodeling of synaptic structures, firing properties of action potentials, integration of information into neural circuits and, finally, the consequences on animal behavior.

In our studies, we apply several functional and structural approaches to the experimental animal models, including:

  1. Extra and intracellular (patch- clamp technics) recordings of neuronal electrical activity.
  2. Simultaneous recordings of electrical activity and calcium imaging with confocal microscopy both in brain slices and in vivo.
  3. Electrochemistry techniques (fast cyclic voltammetry at the carbon fiber microelectrode, amperometry, biosensors).
  4. Electrophysiology and behavioral tests combined in freely moving animals.

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