Magnus Richardson abstract
Warwick Systems Biology Centre, Warwick University
Neurons, synapses and neuromodulators
Fast activity in neuronal networks can be strongly affected by a variety of neuromodulators. One such neuromodulator, adenosine, has a suppressive effect on activity and its transport in tissue and action on the principal cells of the neocortex will be the focus of this talk. The complex dynamics of diffusive signalling molecules in tissue is poorly understood and has been relatively neglected by the main thrust of computational neuroscience, partly because the extracellular concentration of neuromodulators has been hard to quantify experimentally. Here we show that simple mathematical models can accurately capture the activity-dependent adenosine-release waveforms measured by purine biosensors. We also demonstrate that localised adenosine concentrations at synapses mediate the developmental change from depression to facilitation in the synaptic transmission between neocortical layer-5 pyramidal synapses and thereby suggest a novel mechanism for long-term plasticity.