Astrocyte Development in the Cerebral Cortex: Lessons from Transcriptional Regulation of the Glutamate Transporter 1 (GLT1)

Department of Biology Seminar Series
Dr. Zila Martinez-Lozada, Penn CHOP
- | Leidy Room 10
Photo: Dr. Zila Martinez-Lozada

Abstract: The brain is the most complex organ in our bodies. For the brain to function correctly, the right connections must be formed between the millions of cells that shape it. Of these cells, astrocytes are essential for providing energetic support to neurons, removing and recycling neurotransmitters, buffering ions, forming and maintaining the blood-brain barrier, and other functions. However, despite their crucial roles, we still do not understand how astrocytes migrate to their final location in the cortex or how they mature. In addition, although it is now well accepted in the field that there is inter- and intra-regional astrocyte heterogeneity, we do not know how this diversity is generated. In this presentation, I will summarize the results of two projects. First, I will present our recently published work demonstrating that neurons and endothelial cells cooperatively induce the maturation of astrocytes. Secondly, I will present unpublished findings in which we identify and characterize a subpopulation of astrocyte precursor cells in the subventricular zone and their migration to the cortex.

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