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Séminaire - Jaideep BainsA social perspective on stress and the synapse

Abstract :

Our survival requires that we respond and adapt to stress. In the first part of the talk, I will discuss how CRH neurons in the hypothalamus play a key role in linking specific behaviours to environmental context following stress. In the second part of the talk, I will discuss unpublished work showing that stress creates a synaptic memory trace in CRH neurons. These traces may be important in allowing the brain to remember stressful events and adapt accordingly.I will provide evidence that these memory traces can be erased and transferred through social interactions.

Selected publications

Experience salience gates endocannabinoid signaling at hypothalamic synapses. J.I. Wamsteeker Cusulin, L. Senst, G.C. Teskey and J.S. Bains, Journal of Neuroscience, Apr 30;34(18):6177-81, 2014.

 Noradrenaline is a stress-associated metaplastic signal at GABA synapses, W. Inoue, D. V. Baimoukhametova, T. Füzesi, J.I. Wamsteeker Cusulin, K. Koblinger, P. J. Whelan, Q. J. Pittman and J. S. Bains, Nature Neuroscience, May;16(5):605-12, 2013.

 Glucocorticoid feedback uncovers retrograde opioid signaling at hypothalamic synapses, J.I. Wamsteeker Cusulin, T. Füzesi, W. Inoue and J.S. Bains, Nature Neuroscience, May;16(5):596-604, 2013.

 Endocannabinoids gate state-dependent plasticity of synaptic inhibition in feeding circuits, K.M. Crosby, W.I. Inoue, Q.J. Pittman and J.S. Bains, Neuron, Aug 11;71(3):529-41, 2011.

 Stress induced priming of glutamate synapses unmasks associative short-term plasticity, J.B. Kuzmiski, V.M. Marty, D.V. Baimoukhametova and J.S. Bains, Nature Neuroscience, Oct;13(10):1257-1264, 2010.

 Astrocyte mediated distributed plasticity at hypothalamic glutamate synapses, G.R.J. Gordon, K.J. Iremonger, S. Kantevari, G.C. Ellis-Davies, B.A. MacVicar and J.S. Bains, Neuron, Nov;64(3):391-403, 2009.

Scientific focus :

The focus of our lab is to bring together two large and important areas of neuroscience: the study of stress and the study of synapses.

Our goal is to think about stress from a synaptic perspective first. Using this approach, we hope to provide new information that will do three things:

  1. Build an evolving set of rules about the synapses that comprise neural stress circuitry that are derived from rigorous experimentation.
  2. Use these rules to better understand how these synapses and circuits adapt to acute and chronic stress challenges.
  3. Lay the foundation for tackling larger questions that link stress to diseases such as depression and anxiety.

Using techniques that allow us to probe brain function from single synapses to awake, behaving animals, our goal is to understand how physiological and psychological challenges lead to long-term changes in the brain. We focus on neurons in the hypothalamus that coordinate the mammalian response to stress, with a particular interest in how the molecules, or neuromodulators released at the onset of a stress leave a lasting imprint to alter subsequent stress responses.