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Inhibition of Neural Cells by DREADDs in the Nervous System

Grant number: 20/15777-4
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2021
Effective date (End): June 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Molecular Biology
Principal researcher:Marucia Chacur
Grantee:Igor Rafael Correia Rocha
Supervisor abroad: Linda Rothblum Watkins
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Colorado Boulder, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/25554-0 - Study of the effects of the photobiostimulation on the Schwann cell mitochondrial metabolism in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, BP.DR


For a long time, much attention has been given to the detrimental effects of diabetes in the peripheral nervous system. Chronic hyperglycemia has also deleterious effects in the central nervous system (CNS) in the long term and when left untreated. Microglia, the resident macrophages in the CNS play a key role in maintaining homeostasis and in driving a variety of CNS diseases, including pain. Pain is one of the most common chronic complications due to hyperglycemia. However, less is known about the role of microglia in pain states due to hyperglycemia. In this exciting study, we will investigate the effects of hyperglycemia in activated and in inhibited microglia (in vitro) via Designer Receptor Exclusively Activated Designer Drugs (DREADDs). It will be investigated whether activation or inhibition of microglia via DREADDs in hyperglycemic medium could influence pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines transcription and translation. DREADDs is a rather new exciting tool that has now been used in the field of neuroscience to elucidate a variety of neural cells functions. Hopefully, data obtained in this study will contribute to and shed light on the development of DREADDs for peripheral glial cells studies on diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

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