Pathophysiology of neuron-oligodendrocyte interactions
Bidirectional neuron-glia interactions provide the framework for the organization of the brain. One type of glia cell, the oligodendrocyte is well known for the establishment of myelin sheaths around axons, the neuronal output structure. Myelin enables fast communication between neurons, but oligodendrocytes fulfill additional physiological functions which we only start to understand. Our research aims to address this knowledge gap by understanding the physiology of oligodendrocytes and their impact on neuronal communication and vice-versa. We address our research questions on the single cell and micro-circuit level. Alterations of oligodendrocytes are a common feature among several neurodegenerative diseases. By combining our knowledge of physiological oligodendrocyte function we address the functional impact of pathophysiological alterations of oligodendrocytes on neuron-oligodendrocyte communication in neurodegenerative disease. To address our key questions, we combine state of the art methods that include electrophysiology, advanced cellular imaging and genetic approaches.