News and Events
Scientists under the leadership of the University of Bonn have harnessed rabies viruses for assessing the connectivity of nerve cell transplants: coupled with a green fluorescent protein, the viruses show where replacement cells engrafted into mouse brains have connected to the host neural network. A clearing procedure which turns the brain into a 'glass-like state' and light sheet fluorescence microscopy are used to visualize host-graft connections in a whole-brain preparation. The approach opens exciting prospects for predicting and optimizing the ability of neural transplants to functionally integrate into a host nervous system. The results have now been published in the specialist journal Nature Communications.
Bonn (Germany), December 6th, 2016. In order to guide us accurately through space, the brain needs a “sense” of the speed of our movement. But how do such stimuli actually reach the brain? Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) have now identified a signal pathway in mice that feeds speed information directly into the brain’s navigation system. Scientists led by Stefan Remy report on this in the journal “Nature Neuroscience”. Similar neural pathways exist in humans. They are known to be damaged by Alzheimer’s disease – a possible explanation why spatial orientation is frequently impaired in this form of dementia.
They identify synaptic rewiring deficits on the input and output side of O-LM interneurons during disease progression. Moreover, synaptic adaptations on O-LM interneurons due to fear learning are disturbed in a model of Alzheimer’s disease. The explanation for this defect is a reduced cholinergic input from the medial septum that is required for learning-dependent rewiring on O-LM interneurons.
Nearby neurons in sensory cortices display correlated ongoing and sensory-evoked activity. What gives rise to this synchronous activity is mostly unknown.
Releasing molecular brake allowed damaged neurons to regenerate
Dr. Sandra Blaess from the Department of Reconstructive Neurobiology, Life & Brain Center of the University of Bonn, and associate Member of the SFB1089 has been awarded a prestigious Heisenberg-Stipend of the DFG. The award will support her work for up to five years.