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Serotoninergic modulation of Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity in cortical synapses

Grant number: 19/14962-5
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2020 - April 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Principal Investigator:Roberto de Pasquale
Grantee:Roberto de Pasquale
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Guilherme Shigueto Vilar Higa


No cerebral cortex, neural information resulting from experience shapes neural networks by reorganizing their connections as a product of the history of its activation. As part of this process, cortical neurons modify the strength of the synapses as a function of the temporal relation between pre and postsynaptic activity. This form of synaptic plasticity is called Spike-timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP) and comprises effects of long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD). Although the STDP results from the local activity involving a given circuitry, this kind of plasticity is dynamically modulated and depends on the behavioral and mental states affecting the brain as a whole. Serotonin (5-HT) has been indicated as an important neuromodulator acting in this modulation, being able to regulate the intracellular signaling involved in plastic changes. Using the visual cortex as a model, and focusing the investigation on the STDP, the present project aims to contribute to the knowledge about serotonergic neuromodulation of cortical plasticity. For this purpose, the project uses in vitro preparations of neural tissue and electrophysiological techniques of intracellular recording to study the effects of 5-HT on the induction of STDP in excitatory and inhibitory synapses. (AU)