Synuclein research 2: pathophysiological effects on neuronal network activity

Neurons within the brain but also cultured primary neurons in a dish form interconnected networks which often show synchronized electrical activity without any external stimulation. We exploit this phenomenon to study the effects of the synucleins on neuronal activity and to elucidate the relative contribution of a-Synuclein´s interaction with ion channels, synaptic vesicle release and recycling or synaptic and neuritic structural integrity. This model allows to study pathophysiology induced by synucleins independent from neurodegeneration.

Neuronal network activity is affected by a-Synuclein

  • A) Cultured primary neurons form dense network structures.
  • B) A certain proportion of the neurons shows synchronized, non-stimulated electrical activity, which can be visualized by calcium imaging.
  • C) Activity pattern of control neurons.
  • D) a-Synuclein expressing neurons show significantly reduced network activity.