Event Title : Identifying Molecular Determinants of Electrical Synapse Formation and Function

Session Theme : Neurons, circuits and behaviour, Session Chair : Bhavana Muralidharan
Speaker Name: 
Abhishek Bhattacharya
Start Time: 
Monday, January 10, 2022 - 18:40
End Time: 
Monday, January 10, 2022 - 19:00
Talks Abstract: 

Cellular communication in a nervous system is primarily governed by chemical and electrical synapses. While the complex biology of chemical synapses has been widely studied, electrical synapses remained much understudied, despite playing conserved and critical roles in the establishment and functioning of the neural circuit. Our overall research goal is to understand the fundamental molecular principles regulating the assembly and functioning of the electrical synapse connectome, areas that are still very poorly understood.

I found that the members of the innexin gene family that encodes the components of multimeric electrical synapses channels, are expressed in a complex, neuron-type-specific combinatorial patterns in the C. elegans nervous system. Moreover, individual neurons often simultaneously express multiple electrical-synapse-channel-components and utilize them to form molecularly distinct synapses with specific partner neurons. By utilizing the specific strengths of C. elegans as a model organism, we intend to understand the underlying molecular determinants that enables individual neurons in a connectome to form molecularly and thereby functionally distinct electrical synapses with different synaptic partners; how electrical synapses on glial cells regulate nervous system development and function and then how plastic changes in the electrical synapse network is achieved in response to intrinsic and extrinsic cues.

Event Day: 
Day 1 (10th Jan 2022)