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News, Calendars, and Events » Calendars » Master Calendar » Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, Department of
Seminar Series: Dr. Roman Giger
Schedule information
Event Seminar Series: Dr. Roman Giger
When Tuesday, March 19, 2013 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Where New Research Building Auditorium
Event details
Details 'Extracellular Inhibitors of Synaptic Plasticity and Nervous System Regeneration'

Roman Giger, Ph.D.
Associate Professor,
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology & Department of Neurology
University of Michigan School of Medicine

Abstract: Many human brain disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, and various forms of mental disability, are correlated with changes in synaptic shape or density and are believed to be caused by an imbalance between neuronal excitation and inhibition. Detailed knowledge of the molecular programs that regulate the strength and number of synapses is important for understanding brain function, and ultimately this will provide insights into how these processes are dysregulated in neurological disorders. The adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) is a rich source of molecularly diverse growth inhibitory cues, including repulsive axon guidance molecules such as semaphorins, ephrins, slits, and netrins. Some of these inhibitory guidance molecules continue to be expressed in the CNS long after the initial scaffold of axonal connections has been established, and a key question concerns their physiological role in the juvenile and adult brain. The type-1 transmembrane molecule Semaphorin 5A (Sema5A) is strongly expressed in the developing and adult dentate gyrus of the mouse hippocampus. Our recent studies identified Sema5A as a negative regulator of synaptogenesis in developmental-born dentate granule cells. Moreover, Sema5A regulates synaptic density and electrophysiological properties in adult-born dentate granule cells. Mechanistic studies identified select members of the Plexin family as Sema5A receptors. Behavioral studies show that perturbation of Sema5A-Plexin signaling leads to an autism spectrum disease endophenotype. Collectively, our studies show that canonical axon guidance molecules, such as Sema5A play important roles in the postnatal and adult brain where they regulate synaptic plasticity and mental health.
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Contact Juanita Chipani Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology office, x71512
Sponsors Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology
Calendar Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, Department of
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