ION Quarterly Report
Spring-Summer 2015
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ISSUE INDEX
Faculty of the season: Dr. YU Xiang
Differentiating spine fate: a novel role of cadherin/catenin complex
Vav2 regulates dopamine homeostasis
Ascl1 Converts Astrocytes into Neurons in the Intact Brain
Dynamics of Contraction Force Generation in Migrating Neurons
PV interneurons control response reliability in the visual cortex
Brain Circuits Responsible for Sustained Antidepressant Effects of Ketamine
Mini-Symposium on Systems Neuroscience held at ION
Mini-Symposium on Glial Cell Development and Function held at ION
Dr. ZHANG Xu of ION gave key note speech at the 9th IBRO World Conference
Faculty of the season: Dr. YU Xiang

Who are we, and how do we become who we are? Is it genes or upbringing? The interest of Dr. YU Xiang’s laboratory echoes this much debated “nature vs. nurture” question. Curiously, Xiang’s interest in this research topic is related to her own experience. Born in Beijing to a theory physicist father, Xiang is no outsider to academic life. However, her life took an unexpected twist at the tender age of eleven

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Differentiating spine fate: a novel role of cadherin/catenin complex

In a recent study published online in Cell, entitled "Coordinated spine pruning and maturation mediated by inter-spine competition for cadherin/catenin complexes", Dr. YU Xiang's research group at the ION demonstrated a novel mechanism through which the pruning and maturation of dendritic spines in the developing brain are coordinated by the cadherin/catenin cell adhesion complex.

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Vav2 regulates dopamine homeostasis

Dopamine homeostasis is essential for a variety of brain functions. Dopamine transporter (DAT)-mediated dopamine reuptake is one of the most critical mechanisms for maintaining normal dopamine signaling and homeostasis. DAT is the primary target of cocaine and amphetamine. Malfunction of DAT contributes to neurological and psychiatric diseases, in which dysfunction of dopamine systems have been identified.

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Ascl1 Converts Astrocytes into Neurons in the Intact Brain

Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into mature neurons in the intact brain offers therapeutic potentials for treating neural diseases. Yet, it is still a great challenge to specifically and efficiently convert glial cells, the most abundant cells in the nervous system, into functional neurons in the intact brain. Furthermore, it is poorly understood whether the induced neuronal cells can integrate into existing circuits.

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Dynamics of Contraction Force Generation in Migrating Neurons

A recent study published in the Journal of Cell Biology demonstrated that the neuronal migration is controlled by three highly dynamic contraction centers (CCs) that are regulated by guidance cues. This work, entitled"Spatiotemporal dynamics of traction forces show three contraction centers in migratory neurons", was performed primarily by

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PV interneurons control response reliability in the visual cortex

Reliability of neuronal responses is essential for the fidelity of sensory coding. Previous studies of visual cortex, auditory cortex, somatosensory cortex, and hippocampus suggested that inhibitory neural circuits play important roles in regulating response reliability. However, it is unclear how specific types of inhibitory neuron contribute to response reliability.

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Brain Circuits Responsible for Sustained Antidepressant Effects of Ketamine

Mood disorders, such as major depressive disorders, are often accompanied by distributed system-level alterations in brain circuitry. There is increasing recognition that effective therapeutic interventions could reorganize structural and functional networks, resulting in correction of system-level abnormalities in the brain

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Mini-Symposium on Systems Neuroscience held at ION

The 2015 ION Mini-Symposium on Systems Neuroscience was held at the Institute of Neuroscience on July 4th, 2015. Profs. Jose Carmena (University of California, Berkeley, USA), Vikaas Sohal (University of California, San Francisco, USA), Nirao Shah (University of California, San Francisco, USA ), Botond Roska (University of Basel, Switzerland)

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Mini-Symposium on Glial Cell Development and Function held at ION

The 2015 ION Mini-Symposium on Glial Cell Development and Function was held at the Institute of Neuroscience on June 19th, 2015. Profs. Benjamin Deneen (Baylor College of Medicine, USA), Changjoon Justin Lee (Institute of Science & Technology, Korea), Masamitsu Iino (University of Tokyo, Japan), Marco Prinz (University of Freiburg, Germany) presented their recent findings. Prof. Muming Poo 

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Dr. ZHANG Xu of ION gave key note speech at the 9th IBRO World Conference

The 9th IBRO World Conference was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from July 6th to 13rd. Dr. ZHANG Xu of ION was invited to give keynote address. In his talk titled "Somatosensory neurons: types and mechanisms for pain modulation", Dr. Zhang presented recent findings from his laboratory on sodium-potassium pump function

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