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Séminaire - Cendra AgulhonContributions of astrocyte and satellite signaling to sensory processing

Abstract :

One of the great unsolved mysteries in neuroscience concerns the role of astrocyte and satellite glial cell Ca2+ signaling in neuronal activity. In the central nervous system, astrocytes intimately envelop synapses and neuronal cell bodies. In the peripheral sensory ganglia, satellite glial cells envelop sensory neurons. Both cell types are uniquely able to receive signals from synapses and neuronal cell bodies, via their Gq protein-coupled receptors (Gq GPCRs). I will focus on the role of glial Gq GPCR-mediated Ca2+ signaling in sensory information processing. I will provide evidence that astrocytic signaling does not affect sensory-evoked neuronal activity while satellite glial cell signaling can drive sensory neuron activity through a purinergic pathway.

Selected publications

Recent molecular approaches to understanding astrocyte function in vivo. Davila D, Thibault K, Fiacco TA, Agulhon C. Front Cell Neurosci. 2013 Dec 24;7:272. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2013.00272. Review.

Agulhon C, Sun MY, Murphy T, Myers T, Lauderdale K, Fiacco TA. Calcium signaling and gliotransmission in normal versus reactive astrocytes, Frontiers in Neuropharmacology. 3:139, 2012

Agulhon C, Fiacco TA, McCarthy KD , Hippocampal short- and long-term plasticity are not modulated by astrocyte Ca2+ signaling, Science.327:1250-4, 2010.

Fiacco TA, Agulhon C, McCarthy KD. Sorting out astrocyte physiology from pharmacology, Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 49:151-174 2009.

Agulhon C, Petravicz J, McMullen AB, Sweger EJ, Minton SK, Taves SR, Casper KB, Fiacco TA, McCarthy KD. What is the role of astrocyte calcium in neurophysiology?, Neuron. 59:932-946, 2008.

Fiacco TA, Agulhon C, Taves S, Petravicz J, Casper K, Dong Xinzhong, Chen J, McCarthy KD. Selective stimulation of astrocyte calcium in situ does not affect neuronal excitatory synaptic activity, Neuron. 54:611-626, 2007.

Scientific focus :

Dr. Cendra Agulhon has recently responded to an international advertisement by the Neuroscience Institute of Paris Descartes University for a Group Leader position. Positioned 1st, the University allocated Dr. Agulhon laboratory space. Additionally, Dr. Agulhon was recently awarded a tenured position (CNRS – CR1, 2011) and a Chair of Excellence from the Paris School of Neuroscience (ENP, 2012). She is now starting her own research group « Glia-Glia and Glia-Neuron Interactions in Neurophysiopathology» at Paris Descartes University (INSERM U603, CNRS UMR 8154, UFR biomedicale), following the lines of research she has developed over the past seven years.