How to Make a Plastic Brain
Experience alters brain structure. Structural plasticity reveals that brain function is encoded in generative changes to cells that compete with destructive processes driving neurodegeneration. At an adult critical period, experience increases fiber number and brain size in Drosophila. In mammals, the neurotrophins are the key growth factors that link structure and function in the brain. They regulate neuronal survival and connectivity, synaptogenesis and synaptic function, via their tyrosine kinase Trk and p75 receptors. In this talk, I will review the Drosophila neurotrophin system. We showed that Drosophila neurotrophins work via Toll receptors and kinase-less Trk-like receptors to regulate the same processes as in mammals, but via novel molecular mechanisms. Toll and Toll-like receptors in mammals were best known for their functions in innate immunity. I will present our findings on the involvement of Toll receptors in structural brain plasticity. Through their topographic distribution in the brain and their ability to switch between alternative signalling outcomes, Tolls can translate diverse sensory experience into structural change.
Date: 17 January 2020, 12:00 (Friday, 0th week, Hilary 2020)
Venue: Oxford Martin School, 34 Broad Street OX1 3BD
Venue Details: Old Indian Institute, 34 Broad Street, Oxford
Speaker: Alicia Hidalgo (University of Birmingham)
Organising department: Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG)
Organiser: Fiona Woods (University of Oxford, Department of Physiology Anatomy and Genetics, Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour)
Organiser contact email address:
Part of: CNCB Seminar Series
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Fiona Woods