• 2016

Synaptic junctions are major sites of communication in the brain, where chemical messenger molecules transmit information from presynaptic neurons to their postsynaptic partners.The efficacy of synaptic transmission is not constant in time and space. Instead, its plasticity is a fundamental phenomenon underlying information storage and adaptation to environmental stimuli. Although classical neurotransmitters (such as glutamate and GABA) have well characterized principal roles in mediating basal neurotransmission, emerging evidence has revealed that synapses exploit a plethora of additional messenger molecules integrated into sophisticated signaling pathways to accomplish their complex functions. Thus, the major objective of our laboratory is to identify new signaling systems regulating synaptic transmission and its plasticity. We aspire to delineate the molecular architecture of these novel pathways and to elucidate their physiological roles. Ultimately, this activity is envisaged to help gain a better understanding of synaptic function and reveal new aspects of impaired synaptic activity in brain disorders.