Astrocyte-targeting: VMAT2, VGLUTs

Research team
Bezzi Paola PI
Volterra Andrea PI
Dutzler Raimund Co-PI
Gertsch Jürg Co-PI
Reymond Jean-Louis Co-PI
Awale Mahendra Postdoctoral Fellow
Becker Denise Postdoctoral Fellow
Petrelli Francesco Postdoctoral Fellow
Poirier Marion Ph.D. Student
Stubbe Hiltrud Technician

Astrocytes release neuromodulatory transmitters and, thereby, may contribute to brain information processing and to CNS disease pathogenesis/progression. Interestingly, astrocytes, not only neurons, express vesicular transporters for glutamate (VGLUTs) and monoamines (VMAT2). This project aims at defining the specific contribution of astrocyte VGLUT- and VMAT2-dependent transmitter release to normal and pathological (e.g. epilepsy and schizophrenia) CNS function both ex vivo and in vivo. In parallel, the development of small molecule modulators selectively targeting astrocytes is pursued in collaboration with chemists and structural biology-based approaches are ongoing, facilitating the generation of added value among the TransCure Trias.