We are broadly interested in the question of how interactions between cells within the brain (particularly between astrocytes and neurons) influence physiology and behavior. Astrocytes are the major glial cell in the central nervous system. These polarized cells elaborate numerous processes that ensheath the vasculature and contact synapses. Astrocytes play important roles in synaptic signaling, neurotransmitter synthesis and recycling, nutrient uptake, and control of local blood flow.
Current projects include the generation and termination of calcium signals in astrocytes, and regulation and role of astrocytic mitochondria in synaptic development and maintenance.
In Vivo Two-Photon Based Imaging of Cortical Blood Flow
Two-photon imaging of cortical blood flow through an acute cranial window. Blood vessels were visualized via injection of a fluorescein molecule conjugated to a high-molecular-weight dextran (green), trapping the dye in the lumen of the vessel. Arteries and arterioles were labeled with AlexaFluor633 hydrazide (magenta), which labels elastin molecules in the vascular smooth muscle cells. A glass micropipette (visualized with rhodamine) is lowered into the cortex to inject pharmacologic agents. The movie shows arteriole dilation evoked by a brief pressure injection (picospritzer) of glutamate into the cortex. Red blood cells appear as voids in the green fluorescence as they don’t take up the fluorescein dye.
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Jackson Lab Staff