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3.2.11 & 3.16.11 -- Autism and Developmental Disorders Colloquium Series at MIT

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  • Lee Mavros Rushton
    The Autism and Developmental Disorders Colloquium Series at MIT New roles for Notch and NF-kappaB signaling during brain development and function Nicholas
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2011
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      The Autism and Developmental Disorders Colloquium Series at MIT


      "New roles for Notch and NF-kappaB signaling during brain development and
      function"


      Nicholas Gaiano, Ph.D.
      Associate Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Oncology; Institute for Cell
      Engineering; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

      6:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 2, 2011
      MIT Building 46-3002 (auditorium), followed by a reception
      Building Address: 43 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139


      Hosted by Li-Huei Tsai, Ph.D., Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT


      Please RSVP to lmavros@...


      The seminar will cover two primary topics: (1) the role of NF-kappaB signaling
      in the embryonic neocortex, and (2) activity-dependent Notch signaling in
      neurons. In the former study we have shown that the NF-kappaB signaling pathway
      is active in the germinal zone of the developing forebrain, and that activation
      of NF-kappaB promotes progenitor character, while pathway blockade promotes
      neurogenesis. Furthermore, by regulating the timing of neurogenesis, NF-kappaB
      signaling influences the laminar fate of neocortical neurons. In the latter
      study, we have shown that Notch1 and its ligand Jagged1 are present at the
      synapse, that neuronal Notch signaling occurs in response to synaptic activity,
      and that such signaling is dependent upon the plasticity gene Arc/Arg3.1.
      Postnatal deletion of Notch1 in the hippocampus suggests that
      activity-dependent Notch signaling is essential for synaptic plasticity,
      learning and memory.



      Supported by the Simons Initiative on Autism and the Brain at MIT
      (web.mit.edu/autism)

      _______________________________________________________________________
      The Autism and Developmental Disorders Colloquium Series at MIT


      "Synaptic and Circuitry Mechanisms of Compulsive/Repetitive Behaviors in OCD and
      Autism"


      Guoping Feng, Ph.D.
      Poitras Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences,
      MIT


      6:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 16, 2011
      MIT Building 46-3002 (auditorium), followed by a reception
      Building Address: 43 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139


      Hosted by Yingxi Lin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Department of
      Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT

      Please RSVP to lmavros@...


      Compulsive/repetitive behaviors are common to several neuropsychiatric disorders
      including obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders (OCSD) and autism spectrum
      disorders (ASD). Until now, most studies of compulsive/repetitive behaviors
      have focused on serotonergic and dopaminergic systems. Our recent studies
      strongly suggest that dysfunctions of glutamatergic synapses in the striatum
      play a key role in compulsive/repetitive behaviors. Using genetic manipulations
      in mice we demonstrate that disruptions of postsynaptic scaffolding complex
      containing SAPAP3-Shank3 proteins lead to compulsive/repetitive grooming.
      Morphological, biochemical and electrophysiological studies all point to
      postsynaptic defects at the glutamatergic cortico-striatal synapses.
      Furthermore, selective expression of SAPAP3 in the striatum rescues the
      synaptic defects and compulsive/repetitive grooming. Our findings suggest a
      common synaptic and circuitry mechanism for compulsive/repetitive behaviors.



      Supported by the Simons Initiative on Autism and the Brain at MIT
      (web.mit.edu/autism)
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