Glial Network


The main goal of this Glial Network is to characterize the cellular niche found in neurodegenerative diseases, with a particular interest in multiple sclerosis (MS), and to develop techniques for modulating that niche in order to benefit regeneration and myelin repair. The term niche refers to a specialized microenvironment that regulates the interactions of the different cell types present, including neurons, oligodendrocytes and their precursors (OPCs), astrocytes, microglia, neural stem cells (NSCs), and blood vessels. Ultimately, it is the interaction among these cells and their secreted and cell surface molecules that determines whether the brain lesion will be repaired or progress to a chronic and debilitating state. While numerous data exist on the involvement and pathology of each particular cell type in the MS, little is known about the complex interactions that occur among them during the disease process. What are the effects of inflammation on the microglial interaction with OPCs, oligodendrocytes, and NSCs? What happens with these cells in MS if we prevent activation of microglia? Does inflammation affect the axons so that they are more vulnerable to the demyelinating injury? What are the interactive cellular and molecular mechanisms that can prompt regeneration and repair of the injured tissue? Can we modulate the recruitment of NSCs and OPCs to the injured site? Can we modify NSC fate to differentiate into oligodendrocytes and therefore repair the injury in concert with OPCs? What is the role of the extracellular matrix molecules in the activation and recruitment of different cell types? What are the interactions of the axonal molecules with the myelin?   




THURSDAY, JULY 17th 2008

Pharmacology Seminar Room, BST 8-180


Dr. Herbert Geller

Overcoming Glial Scar Inhibition:

a Translational Strategy for Spinal Cord Injury

Developmental Neurobiology Section

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

National Institutes of Health

Hosted by Dr. Joel Levine


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