Diversity Supplement: Mechanisms of striatal structural and functional plasticity

Project: Research project

Project Details


Dendritic spines are the remarkable, highly specialized membrane compartments on neurons that house the postsynaptic, receiving end of most excitatory, glutamatergic synapses in the brain. They are highly plastic and change with learning, in development, and in disease. Here we will use multi-laser 2-photon imaging and photostimulation approaches to generate and evaluate new connections between genetically targeted striatal neurons across sex, age, and neuromodulatory state. We plan to functionally and ultrastructurally define the earliest stages of synaptic function in striatal neurons, and have developed new molecular tools and imaging approaches to assist this objective. The proposed work would yield valuable insights into new spine and synapse genesis, early-stage function, and stability, impacting basic research relevant to synaptic development and rules that guide plasticity. Our platform will help to drive technical innovation that would allow researchers to design therapies to augment reconstruction of neuronal architecture or deconstruct aberrant connectivity
Effective start/end date9/1/188/31/23


  • National Institute of Mental Health (3R01NS107539-03S1)