The aim of this project is to combine cutting-edge optogenetics with live imaging to determine how specific patterns of neuronal activity can regulate the myelination of distinct neural circuits.
An emerging concept in neuroscience is that neural plasticity is not mediated only by neurons, but also through dynamic interactions of neurons and glial cells. For example, neuronal activity can regulate the development of myelin producing oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system. Because changes to myelination influence the timing of neural impulse propagation across the brain, active regulation of myelination might be employed to fine-tune circuit function. We will use zebrafish to directly test how activity affects myelination of neural circuits, and in turn their function.
Publication 1: Allen NJ, Lyons DA (2018). Glia as architects of nervous system formation and function. Science. 362(6411):181-185.
Publication 2: Baraban M, Koudelka S and Lyons DA. (2018). Ca2+ activity signatures of myelin sheath formation and growth in vivo. Nature Neuroscience 21(1):19-23.
Publication 3: Koudelka S, Voas MG, Almeida RG, Baraban M, Soetaert J, Meyer MP, Talbot WS and Lyons DA (2016). Individual neuronal subtypes exhibit diversity in CNS myelination mediated by synaptic vesicle release. Current Biology 26(11):1447-55.