EPFL Neuro Seminar // Peter R. Hiesinger - How does a neuron decide when and where to make a synapse?
Precise synaptic connectivity is a prerequisite for the function of neural circuits, yet individual neurons, taken out of their developmental context, readily form unspecific synapses. How does genetically encoded brain wiring deal with this apparent contradiction? Brain wiring is a developmental growth process that is not only characterized by precision, but also flexibility and robustness. As in any other growth process, cellular interactions are restricted in space and time. Correspondingly, molecular and cellular interactions are restricted to those that 'get to see' each other during development. This seminar will explore the question how neurons decide when and where to make synapses using the Drosophila visual system as a model. New findings reveal that pattern formation during growth and the kinetics of live neuronal interactions restrict synapse formation and partner choice for neurons that are not otherwise prevented from making incorrect synapses in this system. For example, cell biological mechanisms like autophagy as well as developmental temperature restrict inappropriate partner choice through a process of kinetic exclusion that critically contributes to wiring specificity. The seminar will explore these and other neuronal strategies when and where to make synapses during developmental growth that contribute to precise, flexible and robust outcomes in brain wiring.
- Informed public
- Pavan Ramdya, Brain Mind Institute