Wiring the nervous system: Interneuron circuitry in the mouse spinal cord

Julia Kaltschmidt

Julia Kaltschmidt

(Sloan Kettering Institute)

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Date: February 4, 2016


The regulation of information flow by local inhibitory microcircuits has a fundamental role in shaping animal behavior. In the mammalian spinal cord GABAergic inhibitory interneurons serve key functions in sensory-motor transformation. One class of GABAergic interneurons, termed GABApre neurons, forms axo-axonic synapses with the terminals of proprioceptive sensory afferents and exerts an inhibitory constraint on sensory processing. I am using the GABApre interneuron circuitry to understand (i) how distinct neuronal populations are generated, (ii) how these distinct neuronal populations recognize and choose their correct synaptic partners from among different available targets, and (iii) how postsynaptic signals induce the differentiation of presynaptic terminals in service of balanced microcircuit function.

In the future, I expect to maintain a focus on multiple aspects of neuronal circuit biology, including: the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms directing synaptic connectivity; the nature and mechanisms of circuit adaptation in health and disease; and the functional organization of GABAergic interneurons in spinal locomotor circuits, sexual response circuitry and the enteric nervous system.

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This talk is available to Stanford faculty and staff only.

Created: Wednesday, February 10th, 2016