Course Coordinator: 
Marco Terenzio
Neuronal Molecular Signaling

During this course we will review receptor signaling and its associated transcriptional responses as well as peripheral local translation of signaling molecules. We will discuss the active mechanisms of transport utilized by the neurons to convey organelles and signaling complexes from the plasma membrane to the nucleus with a focus on the dynein machinery and retrograde axonal transport. We will then review the current state of progress in the understanding of the link between defects in axonal trafficking and neurological diseases and between local translation of the response to axonal injury and the induction of a regenerative program. In this context we will discuss both the peripheral and central nervous system. This course will include a practical session of imagining of axonal transport, where the students will be exposed to the most recent techniques for imaging and quantifying intracellular transport.

This course is targeted to students who want to deepen their understanding of neuronal axonal signalling and get some hands-on experience in intracellular trafficking live imaging.

The aim of this course is to discuss some of the major molecular signaling pathways from the periphery to the cell bodies in neurons. The students are expected to achieve a basic understanding of long-range molecular signaling in neurons and the experimental techniques available for its investigation.
Course Content: 

1. Receptor signaling in neurons
2. Second messengers and intracellular signaling cascades
3. Peripheral local translation
4. Journal club held by students part1
5. Intracellular molecular transport – anterograde transport
6. Intracellular molecular transport – retrograde transport
7. Neuronal transcriptional responses
8. Neurodegenerative diseases linked to transport defects
9. Journal club held by students part2
10. Signaling mechanisms in injury and regeneration
11. Experimental techniques to image axonal transport and translation
12. Laboratory on axonal transport (cell culture and preparation)
13. Laboratory on axonal transport (imaging)
14 Laboratory on axonal transport (data analysis)
15. Final Exam

Course Type: 
Practical laboratory course + data analysis 20%; Presentation 50%; Final exam 30%
Text Book: 
Purves, Augustine, Fitzpatrick, Hall, Lamantia and White: Neuroscience, 5th or 6th edition
Prior Knowledge: 

This course is an advanced course for neuroscience. It assumes a basic knowledge of cellular biology and neurobiology.