Research objectives and content
Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR1-8) are a family of receptor subtypes with diverse properties in terms of transduction coupling, pharmacology, anatomical and cellular expression. In cultured glial cells activation by t-ACPD leads either to intracellular IP3 accumulation with subsequent mobilization of calcium from internal stores or to reduced cAMP formation. In situ, in living brain slices, only few physiological or biochemical investigations to uncover the function of glial mGluRs have been performed. A combination of several techniques will be applied to investigate the functional expression of the so far known metabotropic glutamate receptors in individual glial cells of the mouse brain. During electrophysiological characterization using patch-clamp or imaging techniques, the expression of mGluR subtype transcripts will be determined by single-cell RT-PCR allowing a direct correlation of physiological behaviour and receptor molecule being involved. Histological techniques will be used to confirm the expression.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The hosting research group has setup electrophysiological, imaging and molecular biology techniques to study the role of glial cells in the brain. They offer a unique opportunity to study the physiology of many different glial cell types simultanously by patch-clamp recording, confocal microscopy, [Ca2]i imaging, and single-cell RT-PCR. In particular, all the techniques can be applied to the more intact environment of the living brain slice.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)