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Imaging tools to study the function of astrocytes in the CNS


Rahul Srinivasan, MBBS, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor,
Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Texas A&M


Astrocytes tile the entire central nervous system (CNS) and outnumber neurons. Although classically regarded as supporting cells, recent studies have begun to question this role of astrocytes as mere glue of the CNS. Reports over the past 5 years demonstrate that astrocytes display spontaneous calcium fluctuations in their soma and territories and that these calcium fluctuations respond to pharmacological, neuronal and even behavioral stimuli. Together, these studies indicate that astrocytes may play a critical role in governing aspects of neural processing. In this talk, I will focus on our current understanding of astrocyte biology in the context of new imaging tools and techniques that have begun to reveal astrocytes as central players in CNS function. 

Pizza and refreshments will be provided.