Interdisciplinary Seminar in Nonlinear Science

Title: A Computational Study of the Signal Transduction Mechanisms and Wave Propagation in Astrocytic Glial Cells
Speaker: Nikos V. Mantzaris
Speaker Info: Rice University Chemical Engineering Department, , Houston, TX
Brief Description:
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Glial cells of the central nervous system were considered to be passive bystanders in the mammalian brain. However, over the past decade, several neuroscientists have provided strong experimental evidence suggesting a very active role of these non-neuronal cells in information transmission and processing in the mammalian brain. In cell culture, intracellular and intercellular calcium waves have been shown to propagate between astrocytes (a type of glial cells) for hundreds of microns. The mechanism of signal transmission between glial cells has been an issue of great debate amongst neuroscientists. Several studies have suggested a role of gap junctions in mediating intercellular signaling, while recently a role of an extracellular signal has become more appreciated.Experimental studies have revealed many aspects of calcium wave propagation in glial cells. First, it has been shown that IP3-mediated release of Ca2 from the ER calcium stores results from the binding of various agonists, such as ATP, to P2Y purinergic receptors. IP3 production is a result of PLC activation through a G-protein coupled mechanism. Furthermore, protein kinase C (PKC) has been linked to the adaptation of the P2Y receptors, while ATP release from stimulated glial cells via a calcium-independent mechanism, has recently been reported.
Date: Friday, December 5, 2003
Time: 2:00PM
Where: Tech M416
Contact Person: Vasilly Hatzimanikatis
Contact email: vasilly@northwestern.edu
Contact Phone: 847-491-5357
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