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Controlling prefrontal cortex pyramidal cells with optogenetics: from methodological standardization to immunohistochemical and electrophysiological validation

Grant number: 18/16920-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2018
Effective date (End): August 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Principal Investigator:João Pereira Leite
Grantee:Benedito Alves de Oliveira Júnior
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/17882-4 - Drug-resistant epilepsies: diagnostic challenges, associated comorbidities and new experimental approaches, AP.TEM


Epilepsy affects millions of people around the world. Currently, primary treatment strategies are based on pharmacological intervention. However, treatment with antiepileptic drugs can cause side effects in patients. Optogenetics tools have increasingly been used to elucidate the neural bases of neurological diseases, informing about new intervention strategies. Optogenetics is based on the proton pumps expression and light-sensitive ion channels, which can activate or deactivate a specific group of cells, enabling the investigation of neural circuits relevant to neuroscience research. The present project aims to implement and standardize the technique in our laboratory through immunohistochemical and electrophysiological validation in freely-moving animals stimulated through fiber optic implants. This project will allow this technique to be used in the context of the University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto, facilitating new studies and investigations that increase the knowledge about the neural bases of neurological diseases such as epilepsy, associated or not to psychiatric disorders.

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