Synaptic Transmission in Energy Homeostasis Group

Multiple distinct neuronal cell populations distributed throughout the central nervous system tightly coordinate energy and glucose homeostasis. This is achieved by precise synaptic mechanisms that operate within these neuronal circuits. The overall aim of our research is to elucidate synaptic physiology and synaptic plasticity – such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression - at defined synapses within the neuronal circuits regulating feeding behavior, energy expenditure and glucose metabolism.

The goal of our research is to link synaptic transmission and synaptic adaptions with specific metabolic responses and behavior. To address this question, we employ a wide range of methodologies including: Brain slice electrophysiology, optogenetics, chemogenetics, transgenic knockin and knockout mice, AAV viral approaches, in vivo imaging and morphological methods. The combination of these approaches allows us to study neurotransmitters, synaptic plasticity, and activity patterns in defined circuit elements. Furthermore, they also enable us to understand how synaptic adaptions within these neural circuits could become dysregulated in conditions such as obesity or diabetes.

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