Position Host institution PhD enrolment Start date Duration
ESR9 P6-UKB Y (at UKB) early 2017 36 months

Project Title:

Dynamic physiological and morphological responses of astroglial networks

Alberto Pauletti



Diffusion of signalling molecules in astroglial syncytia does not only depend on properties of gap junctions, but also on diffusion within individual astrocytes and therefore their complex morphology. Changes of astrocyte morphology that modify the tortuosity of intracellular space will affect diffusion of a molecule within that cell and also to neighbouring cells. Induction of epilepsy or LTP in acute hippocampal slices results in changes of astrocyte morphology and, at the same time, intracellular diffusivity. We will explore whether restructuring of astrocytes could lead to formation or pruning of gap junctions, and how acute astrocyte morphology changes affect diffusion and signal propagation within astrocyte networks.



We will use our recently established computer model of fluorescent dye coupling between astrocytes for predictions of signal propagation that will then be tested experimentally by combing 2P-LSM and patch-clamp recordings. These experiments will reveal how morphology and intracellular diffusion of astrocytes shape astrocyte networks in control and epileptic hippocampus.


Christian HennebergerCHenneberger
University of Bonn

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