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Neuron-Glial Interactions

Regulation of synapse number is key to developing a healthy nervous system. It is also critical for enabling plasticity in response to individual experience or to compensate for injury throughout life. Most research on the mechanisms of synapse formation has focused on pre and postsynaptic processes. Recent reports, however, suggest that central synapses can neither be built nor be operated without 3 interdependent parts: the presynaptic neuron, the postsynaptic neuron, and astroglia. We are currently working on experiments that analyze how interactions with astroglial modify neuron growth in vitro, as a model to understand how glial cells help to regulate neuron development and synapse formation.

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