Critical role of reactive astrocytes in neurodegenerative diseases
  • C. Justin Lee Ph.D
  • SLS Colloquia / Sep 27th 04:00 pm / BLDG 110 ROOM N104
Abstract

Brain is composed of not only neurons but also glia. It has been recently established that in addition to neurons, glial cells can release various transmitters (termed gliotransmitters), such as GABA, glutamate, and d-serine. The functional significance of these gliotransmitters is beginning to unravel as the detailed mechanisms of release have become available. We have recently demonstrated the role of GABA, synthesized via MAO-B and released through GABA-permeable Best1 channel from reactive astrocytes, in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. During the course of these studies, we have developed various molecular tools, mouse and rat models, and neural probes to address specific questions in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases. These newly developed targets and tools have proven to be useful in developing novel therapeutics for various neurodegenerative diseases that currently have no cure for.