Neuronal diversity in the ventral tegmental area - Marisela Morales

Thursday, October 25, 2018

12:00 pm

Clark Center Auditorium Map

Sponsored by:
Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute

Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute Seminar Series Presents

Neuronal diversity in the ventral tegmental area

Marisela Morales, PhD

Senior Investigator at NIDA, NIH

Host: Konstantin Kaganovsky (Ding lab)


Clinical observations and results from animal models indicate that dopamine neurons distributed within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) play crucial roles in different behaviors (including reward, aversion and learning). Studies of VTA information processing have been focused on resident dopamine neurons for over fifty years and more recently on local inhibitory GABA neurons. This talk will provide an overview of evidence showing that the VTA has glutamatergic neurons, which establish both local and long range connections, and provide excitatory regulation within different brain areas. In addition, it’ll cover data suggesting that a subpopulation of VTA neurons co-releases dopamine and glutamate and another subpopulation co-releases glutamate and GABA. It’ll also provide evidence indicating that axon terminals from glutamate-GABA neurons share a common and unique synaptic architecture in which a single dual glutamate-GABA axon terminal simultaneously establishes excitatory and inhibitory synapses, which release glutamate (from vesicles packaged by VGluT2) and GABA (from vesicles packaged by VGaT). This talk will include data on specific synaptic interactions of VTA glutamatergic neurons mediating different behaviors. The discovery of the complex neuronal diversity of the VTA offers new scientific challenges and opportunities towards having a better understanding of neuronal mechanisms underlying brain disorders related to the reward system.

Thursday, October 25, 2018
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Clark Center Auditorium Map

Lecture / Reading Engineering Humanities Science 

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