[PhD Thesis Public Presentation_C210_ zoom is also available]  ‐ Sarah Nagasawa– “Stochastic spatial modeling of vesicle trafficking of AMPA receptors to understand roles in synaptic plasticity”  


Tuesday, October 17, 2023 - 11:00 to 12:00


C210, Center Bld.


Presenter: Sarah Nagasawa

Supervisor: Prof. Erik De Schutter


Unit: Computational Neuroscience Unit


Zoom URL:

Title: Stochastic spatial modeling of vesicle trafficking of AMPA receptors to understand roles in synaptic plasticity



The regulation of AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) in the synapse is central for maintaining the normal functioning of hippocampal synapses, and sustaining long-term storage of memories. Within post-synaptic neurons, an intracellular trafficking system of vesicles and endosomal structures exists that transports and delivers AMPARs to and from synapses. This trafficking system is believed to have an essential role in modulating synaptic plasticity. However, it remains challenging to directly observe these fine processes in intact neurons during synaptic plasticity. In this thesis, I present a computational model that considers stochastic-spatial properties and biochemical signaling pathways of the intracellular trafficking system of AMPARs. I use the model to study vesicular-endosomal processes involved in the trafficking of AMPARs during synaptic plasticity. Our model suggests (1) a time-delay in the contribution of endosomal-vesicle processes in enhancing synaptic strength, (2) an alternative source of AMPARs to endosomes is required to sustain increased synaptic strength, and (3) endosomes serve as storage sites to support multiple spines during synaptic plasticity. 

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