Shut up your neighbors - Lateral inhibition in medium-sized spiny neurons
Internal Seminar: Stefan Pommer, Student, Neurobiology Research Unit (Wickens Unit)
Motor control, reward-related learning and decision-making are three elementary functions of the human brain. A major contribution comes from the basal ganglia, more precisely the striatum. It consists mainly of medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs) which receive massive glutamatergic input from the cerebral cortex and other brain regions. Each MSN forms a network of local inhibitory connections with GABAergic synapses on neighboring MSNs.
Currently, the functional significance of this lateral inhibition among MSNs is unknown. Previous studies showed that serotonin plays an important role in transmitter release in target sides of MSNs. It acts through serotonin receptor 5HT1B and might play a role in lateral inhibition too.
My research focuses on the role of lateral inhibition in MSN on the striatal level and the functional contributions of serotonin.