Position Host institution PhD enrolment Start date Duration
ESR7 P5-INSERM Y (at U Paris) early 2017 36 months

Project Title:

Ca2+ signalling and motility of microglial cells

Giorgio Cignitti



Microglial cells have been mostly studied for their roles in pathological conditions. However, they also interact with neurons and astrocytes in physiological conditions, notably during brain development where they influence the structural and functional maturation of synaptic networks. The present project will aim at analyzing Ca2+ signalling and motility of microglial cells during postnatal development of the mouse somatosensory cortex to understand better their interactions with developing neurons in physiological and pathological conditions.



New genetic and imaging tools will be used to study Ca2+ signals of microglia in situ and in vivo in response to neuronal activity and during their tissue surveillance. A combination of electrophysiological (patch clamp) and imaging (video microscopy, 2P-LSM) techniques will be used in acute cortical slices and in vivo. We will first identify the signalling pathways responsible for the recruitment of microglia at maturating synapses. We will then study how an inflammatory challenge and febrile seizures influence interactions between neurons and microglia during cortical development.


Etienne AudinatEAudinat
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale

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