Research Area: Neuronal Circuits, Metabolism, Obesity, Hypothalamus
1. Research Background:
My lab studies organization, dynamics and functions of hypothalamic neuronal circuits in feeding behaviors, arousal and locomotion (e.g. Carus-Cadavieco et al., Nature 2017; Herrera et al., Nature Neuroscience 2016). We aim to understand neuronal mechanisms of these innate behaviors in health and pathology. Sleep disorders, reduced arousal as well as reduced thirst represent major health problems in elderly population. Combining optogenetics, electrophysiological recordings in transgenic behaving mice and calcium imaging, we aim to investigate changes of neural circuitries involved in the regulation of innate behaviors in aging, to identify, which neuronal groups and neural dynamics underlie these changes, and to study consequences of optogenetically restored physiological signaling within hypothalamic circuits.
2. Research questions addresses by the group:
- How does neuronal activity in the lateral hypothalamus change during aging?
- What are the neuronal mechanisms of sleep disorders in aging?
- Which brain circuits mediate reduced arousal in aging?
3. Possible projects:
Possible PhD projects will focus on investigation of hypothalamic circuits in adult and aged mice. The projects aim to identify the changes of hypothalamic circuitries occuring during aging, to characterize involvement of these changes in the regulation of innate functions, including arousal and sleep, and to study neurochemically defined neuronal groups and various patterns of neural dynamics that may underlie aging-related changes. These studies will gain insight into neuronal mechanisms of sleep and arousal in health and pathology.
4. Applied Methods and model organisms:
We apply a combination of the following methods in behaving transgenic mice:
- electrophysiological recordings of neuronal activity and neuronal network oscillations;
- calcium imaging;
- behavioral assays.
5. Desirable skills and qualifications:
Optimism and curiosity. Experience in in vivo experiments and/or data analysis will be beneficial.
- Carus-Cadavieco M, Gorbati M, Ye L, Bender F, van der Veldt S, Kosse C, Börgers C, Lee SY, Ramakrishnan C, Hu Y, Denisova N, Ramm F, Volitaki E, Burdakov D, Deisseroth K, Ponomarenko A, Korotkova T (2017). Gamma oscillations organize top-down signaling to hypothalamus and enable food seeking. Nature, 542(7640):232-236.
- Herrera CG, Carus-Cadavieco M, Jego S, Ponomarenko A, Korotkova T, Adamantidis A (2016). Hypothalamic feed-forward inhibition of thalamocortical network controls arousal and consciousness. Nature Neuroscience, 19(2):290-8.
- Bender F, Gorbati M, Carus-Cadavieco M, Denisova N, Gao X, Holman C, Korotkova T, Ponomarenko A (2015). Theta oscillations regulate speed of locomotion via hippocampus to lateral septum pathway. Nature Communications, 6:8521 doi: 10.1038/ncomms9521.
- Korotkova T, Fuchs EC, Ponomarenko A, von Engelhardt J, Monyer H (2010). NMDA receptor ablation on parvalbumin-positive interneurons impairs hippocampal synchrony, spatial representation and working memory. Neuron, 68(3):557-69.