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Event Type:  Seminar (This is an NIH Science event)
Title:  Neurobiology Interest Group Seminar Series: "The Drunk Basal Ganglia: alcohol effects on specific synapses and neurons"
Description:  Alcohol (ethanol) is one of the most widely used drugs. Despite the devastating statistics related to alcohol use disorders, we still lack a good understanding about which brain regions and neuronal subtypes are affected by this drug of abuse. The striatum and its projections mediate action selection and learning processes. Evidence is emerging about ethanol’s effects on striatal synapses, but we still need more information on the pharmacological effects of ethanol on specific striatal targets. The spiny projection neurons send GABAergic projections to two main targets: the subtantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr, the direct pathway); and the globus pallidus external segment (GPe, the indirect pathway and bridge-collaterals from the direct pathway). We used a combination of transgenic mice, whole-cell patch clamp recording, optogenetics and photometry tools to evaluate the acute ethanol effects on Nigra and GPe synapses and neurons. We observed a variety of effects which were specific for different GABAergic synapses and neurons subtypes. Photometric Ca2+ measurements showed that ethanol decreases the signaling in direct and indirect pathways pre-synaptic terminals. However, electrophysiological experiments showed that while ethanol depressed inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) at striatonigral synapses, the same ethanol dose potentiated IPSCs at striatopallidal synapses in some of the neurons analyzed. In addition, ethanol decreases the firing rate of low-frequency, but not high-frequency, firing neurons in the GPe. Ongoing studies are examining how the combination of these effects can alter neuronal network activity in the Basal Ganglia, and how these effects contribute to alcohol-related behaviors.

Meeting number: 629 961 120
Meeting password: e9EHRa4d
Meeting link:
Host key: 930307
Series Name:  Neurobiology Interest Group Seminar Series
Event URL:
Videocast:  Event will not be videocast
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Thursday, August 02, 2018   3:30pm - 5:00pm Add To Outlook Calendar     Add To iCal Calendar     Add To Entourage Calendar
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Name:   Karina Abrahao
Title:   PhD
Organization:   NIAAA

Organization(s):  [NIH] Neurobiology Interest Group

Location:  On the main NIH Campus
Building:  Building 40
Room:  1201/1203
Street Address:  40 Convent Drive
City:  Bethesda
State:  Maryland
Zip Code:  20892

Name:   Richa Lomash
Name:   Shireen Sarraf
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