Cellular Neuropharmacology

Group 14
Leader: János Szabadics

The primary goal of the laboratory is to better understand the neuronal circuitry of the hippocampus, which is known to play crucial roles in certain learning and memory functions. In particular we are interested in the cellular interface between the dentate gyrus and CA3 regions and the integration of neuronal information within the dentate gyrus.

The mossy fibres (the axon of dentate gyrus granule cells) introduce certain novel information about the environment in the CA3 network, and this incoming excitation is correlated with previously acquired memories that are represented by the interconnected synaptic network of local pyramidal cells. This interaction essential in the ability to distinguish novel situations from previously acquired memories. Our research questions focus on the elementary components of this interaction: the synaptic projections from the DG to CA3. The second research direction of the group investigates the essential neuronal mechanisms of the granule cells that link their exceptional and universal electrophysiological and synaptic properties to their specific physiological functions.

An important methodology of the laboratory is the in vitro patch clamp electrophysiology of unitary synaptic connections, during which we directly record from single small presynaptic axons and postsynaptic neurons. Furthermore, we use the patch clamp method to analyze the elementary electrophysiological properties of small axonal and dendritic structures. These recordings are combined with anatomy, immuno-histochemistry, calcium-imaging, computational modelling and virus labelling. Combination of these methods allow us to investigate how inputs are translated and processed into neuronal output within individual neurons and what are the fundamental mechanisms of synaptic communications between individual neurons.

Excerpt from the Guidebook of the Institute 2015.

For further information please visit webpage of the group.

Lab members:

János SzabadicsGroup Leader
János BrunnerPh.D. Student
Máté NeubrandtPh.D. Student
Viktor OláhPh.D. Student
Dóra KókayTechnician
Endre MarosiUndergraduate Student