Neuron Glia Interaction

Mechanisms of Interaction

We are interested in understanding the mechanisms by which neurons and glial cells interact to support normal communication in the nervous system. Directed action potential dependent fusion of neurotransmitter-filled vesicles occurs at synapses, points of contacts between neurons, and enables rapid intercellular signalling in the brain. We have recently shown that action potentials also induce fast release of neurotransmitter onto glial cells in white matter - an area of the brain that does not contain synapses.

Ongoing projects in the lab include characterisation of this novel neuron-glia signalling during development, elucidating mechanisms and exploring the functional role of neurotransmitter release onto glial cells. We are also investigating the possible contribution of neurotransmitter release in white matter to the pathophysiology of demyelinating disorders of the nervous system. We use whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of neurons and glial cells in brain slices, flash-photolysis of caged compounds, immunohistochemistry and confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Group Leader and Further Information

Maria Kukley
Neuron Glia Interaction

(at University Hospital Tübingen, Centre for Ophthalmology since 2018)