Congratulations to Adar Adamsky and Adi Kol for winning the August 2018 JBC SMART Brain Prize for the outstanding article: “Astrocytic Activation Generates De Novo Neuronal Potentiation and Memory Enhancement”, published in Cell in June 2018.
Adar Adamsky - Adar is a PhD student in Dr. Inbal Goshen's lab at the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC). Her Dissertation focuses on the role of neurons and glia in recent and remote memory, and in the transition between them. In her research she seeks to provide a comprehensive mechanistic characterization of the transition from recent to remote memory based on genetically-guided and projection-specific manipulations, employing Ca2+ imaging in behaving mice, histology and behavior.
Adi Kol - Adi is a PhD student in the labs of Dr. Inbal Goshen and Dr Mickey London at the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC). Her Dissertation focuses on the astrocytic modulation of neuronal activity in the synaptic, cellular and circuit level. To explore the role of astrocytes in synaptic activity and plasticity, Adi Employs chemogenetic tools to specifically activate and inhibit these cells, and examine their effect on neuronal activity in the synaptic, cellular and circuit level using slice electrophysiology and two-photon calcium imaging. Such an investigation would illuminate the complex way in which astrocytes do not merely respond to the neighboring neural network activity and support it, but rather precisely modulate the way it processes information.
“Astrocytic Activation Generates De Novo Neuronal Potentiation and Memory Enhancement"
In the current study Adi and Adar employed chemogenetic and optogenetic tools that allow specific activation of astrocytes to explore their role in synaptic activity and memory. They found that hippocampal astrocytic activation resulted in synaptic potentiation and enhanced hippocampal neuronal activity in a task-dependent way: i.e. only during memory acquisition, but not when mice were at their home cage. Furthermore, astrocytic activation during learning resulted in enhanced memory. In contrast, direct hippocampal neuronal activation induced a non-selective increase in activity, during learning and in the home cage, and resulted in drastic memory impairment. These findings have important clinical implications for cognitive augmentation treatments.
The Upcoming deadline for the next SMART Brain Prize is November 30th, 2018
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