If you consider the brain to be an information-processing network, the synapse is the contact point where information is transmitted from one neuron to another, and thus an important place to tune the network activity through regulation of synaptic strength. 80% of the synapses in the brain use glutamate as a neurotransmitter, making the tuning of glutamate transmission a key mechanism in shaping neural activity and brain function. Most importantly, misregulation of glutamatergic transmission has been associated with cognitive decline as well as mood disorders. Thus, identification of novel regulatory mechanisms can provide much needed targets for treatments for diseases where our understanding of the etiology is still limited, including Alzheimer’s disease, depression and schizophrenia.
In my lab we combine electrophysiological recordings in brain slices, biochemical analysis and behavior to study the modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity. Currently we are particularly interested in the role of astrcoytes, A well accepted theory of astrocyte function proposes that astrocytes keep the glutamate transmission balanced by sensing neuronal activity and responding by adjusting glutamate uptake or releasing gliatransmittors that regulate synaptic function. However, there is still a lack of precise information on astrocyte regulation of synaptic activity, and strikingly, there is no consensus on what the major function of an astrocyte is, neither on how astrocyte function is regulated.
Magara S, Holst S, Lundberg S, Roman E, Lindskog M. Altered explorative strategies and reactive coping style in the FSL rat model of depression, accepted for publication, Front. Behav. Neurosci. 2015; 9:89
Femenía, T., Magara, S., DuPont C.M., Lindskog, M. Effects of the H3 receptor antagonist clobenpropit in a rat model of depression: the role of histamine receptors in the hippocampus, Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015, 18(9)
Agudelo LZ, Femenía, T, Orhan F, Porsemyr-Palmertz M, Goiny M, Martinez.Redondo V, Correia JC, Izadi M, Bhat M, Schppe-Koistinen I, Petterson AT, Ferreira DM, Krook A, Barres R, Zierath JR, Erhardt S, Lindskog M*,/Ruas JL.* Skeletal muscle PGC-1alfa1 modulates kynurenine metabolism and mediates resilience to stress-induced depression. Cell 2014 159;1 33-45
*shared last and co-corresponding authors
M. Sci. Uppsala University 1996
PhD Karolinska Institutet 2001
PostDoc Royal Instituet of Technology (Prof. Hällgren-Kotaleski) 2002
PostDoc Stanford University (Prof. R.W. Tsien) 2002-2006