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Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center

Houston, Texas

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center
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Nicotinic Cholinergic Influences over Hippocampal Circuits

Goals: To examine the working hypothesis that cholinergic activity modulates circuit excitability by influencing the release of multiple neurotransmitters, by producing direct neuronal excitation, and by altering GABAergic inhibition within the hippocampus. These investigations focus mainly in the hippocampus to understand the regulation of circuit activity. Detailed in vitro brain slice studies are coupled to in vivo electrophysiology to understand cholinergic regulation of hippocampal circuits.

Relevance of the project to IDDRC mission:

The project examines memory mechanism in freely moving mice with in vivo recording that offer very high resolution and precision. The work is establishing a robust model of memory events and changes in synaptic events that underlie memory can be measured at high resolution that predicts behavioral consequences that will develop much later. This mouse model is aimed to become a basis for judging memory or memory related neural dysfunction. As the project progresses, we anticipate applying genetic manipulations to alter the mice in ways that will indicate the consequences over memory and in vivo synaptic events that are impaired by developmental neural disorders. The work should provide a basis for understanding synaptic events that underlie the behavior and symptoms indicative of mental retardation.

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