Blue Brain Seminar – Thalamo-cortical synaptic network in motor cortex analyzed with large volume electron microscopy

The EPFL Blue Brain Project is delighted to announce that the next seminar in the series in Neural Computation, will be on “Thalamo-cortical synaptic network in motor cortex analyzed with large volume electron microscopy”.  The seminar will be given by Yoshiyuki Kubota from the Division of Cerebral Circuitry National Institute for Physiological Sciences Okazaki, Japan.

Bio: Yoshiyuki Kubota is currently Associate Professor, Division of Cerebral Circuitry, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Japan. He gained his Ph.D. in Medical Sciences from Osaka University in Japan and previously worked as a researcher at RIKEN and as an Assistant Professor at Kagawa Medical School, Takamatsu, Japan. His postdoctoral research was conducted at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; University of Tennessee, Memphis, USA and; JSPS, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.

Abstract: It is well known that the motor cortex receives signals from the basal ganglia and cerebellum via thalamo-cortical afferents. We investigated how the thalamo-cortical axon terminals participate in the cortical microcircuit in rat frontal cortex. The axon arborization pattern across cortical layers varies significantly among thalamocortical afferents from three motor-related thalamic nuclei: the ventral medial nucleus (VM) the ventral anterior (VA) and the ventral lateral (VL) thalamic complex which relay motor information from the basal ganglia (VM/VA) and the cerebellum (VL) respectively (2015, Cereb Cor 25: 221-235). We hypothesized that the synaptic connections of VM/VA and VL afferents in the cortical microcircuits are different. A viral vector (pal-GFP AAV) was injected into each of three motor-related thalamic nuclei. Their target structures in the motor cortex was investigated using a correlated light and electron microscopy (CLEM) with a laser confocal microscopy and automated tape-collecting ultramicrotomy (ATUM) with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). To identify the GFP labeled axonal fibers subsequently at the electron microscopy we stained blood vessels with lectin and cellular nuclei with DAPI and used them as landmarks in cortical tissue sections. Firstly images were taken with a laser confocal microscopy. Then the tissue sections were embedded in plastic and sectioned with ATUM for SEM observation. GFP-labeled thalamo-cortical fibers and their target structures were identified in serial electron micrographs and reconstructed three-dimensionally. Our preliminary results indicated that the VA fibers mainly targeted dendritic spines of the layer 5 pyramidal cell.

The seminar is an open event, at the Blue Brain offices in the Campus Biotech, Geneva.  Upon arrival at the Campus Biotech, please sign in at the Campus Biotech reception.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Blue Brain Project
Campus Biotech
Chemin des Mines 9

Host: Srikanth Ramaswamy, Group Leader and Senior Scientist, Blue Brain Project

For more information, please contact the event team – [email protected]

How to get to the Seminar –