Université de Bordeaux
BrainConf: Synaptic Plasticity27-30 September, 2022 - Bordeaux

Matthew Dalva

Matthew B. Dalva, Department of Neuroscience
Director, Jefferson Synaptic Biology Center
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, USA


Seeing synapse formation and plasticity at the nanoscale


To determine how synapses are formed and lost, we have focused on understanding the molecules that control their generation. Our lab has targeted EphB proteins and their ephrin-B ligands, because we have shown these molecules are required both in vitro and in vivo for normal synaptogenesis. EphBs are transmembrane signaling molecules and are the largest known family of receptor tyrosine kinases in the mammalian genome that bind to ephrin-Bs which are transmembrane proteins also capable of signaling. Our findings in the past have demonstrate that EphBs and ephrin-Bs have a role in: (1) how are specific types of morphological specialization like spines are formed, (2) in dendritic filopodia dependent synaptogenesis, (3) in the control of synapse density; and (4) how are glutamate neurotransmitter receptors directed to the synapse. We have developed novel tools to examine the intracellular signaling that regulates the ability of dendritic filopodia to select the appropriate contacts, use super-resolution microscopy to explore the nanoarchitecture of the synapse, and explored under-appreciated mechanisms mediating protein-protein interactions in the extracellular space. Using a combinatorial approach that routinely combines imaging, physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology, we address how adaptive and maladaptive plasticity impacts brain function from the nanoscale to the circuit.

Website: www.dalvalab.org