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Joachim Lübke"Structural determinants of synaptic transmission and plasticity at cortical synapses".

Abstract :

Synapses are the key elements in neuronal communication and plasticity. To better understand the functional signal cascades underlying synaptic signaling a detailed knowledge about structural parameters, e.g. realistic values of the number, size and distribution of active zones and of the three pools of synaptic vesicles provide important constrains for structural models that are used for modeling of different parameters of synaptic transmission and plasticity that are still inaccessible to experiment.
To study synapses in such great detail computer-assisted 3D-models are generated from serial digital electron microscopic images through synaptic structures followed by quantitative analysis. I will focus on cortical synapses, because of their obvious importance for cortical processing on the one hand, but the very partial knowledge about their structural organization in the cortical column on the other hand. Secondly, the abundance, density and co-localization of glutamate receptors, their subunits and transporters at these synapses which on the molecular level drive synaptic transmission and plasticity were quantified at the subcellular level. Our structural investigations will lead to a better understanding of how synapses will govern the “behavior” of cortical networks in normal and pathologically altered brains.

Selected publications

Lützner J, Krummenauer F, Lübke J, Kirschner S, Günther KP, Bottesi M. Fuctional outcome after open and arthroscopic bankart repair for traumatic shoulder instability. Eur J Med Res 2009; 14: 18-24.
Rollenhagen A, Sätzler K, Rodríguez EP, Jonas P, Frotscher M, Lübke J. Structural determinants of transmission and plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. J Neurosci 2007; 27: 10343-10444. 

Excitatory signal flow and connectivity in a cortical column: focus on barrel cortex.Lübke J, Feldmeyer D. Brain Struct Funct. 2007 Jul;212(1):3-17. Epub 2007 Jun 1. Review.