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Neuroanatomy and transgenic technologies

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195138 Year: Pages: 139 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-513-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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Abstract

Neuroanatomists increasingly rely on techniques enabling them to manipulate genes in defined brain cell populations. In particular, engineered transgenes, which encode a variety of fluorescent reporter proteins can be inserted into the genome or delivered into desired brain regions using viral vectors, thereby allowing the labeling of molecularly-defined populations of neurons and/or glial cells. Transgenic technology can also be used to selectively delete genes in targeted neuronal populations or bi-directionally modulate their electrical excitability using optogenetic or chemogenetic techniques. One of the primary advantages of using transgenic reagents is to simplify the identification and tracing of targeted population of brain cells, which can be laborious using traditional techniques in neuroanatomy. In this research topic, we assembled up-to-date reviews and original articles that demonstrate the versatility and power of transgenic tools in advancing our knowledge of the nervous system, with a special emphasis on the application of transgenic technology to neuroanatomical questions.

Imaging and monitoring astrocytes in health and disease

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193936 Year: Pages: 189 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-393-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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Astrocytes are key cellular partners to neurons in the brain. They play an important role in multiple processes such as neurotransmitter recycling, trophic support, antioxidant defense, ionic homeostasis, inflammatory modulation, neurovascular and neurometabolic coupling, neurogenesis, synapse formation and synaptic plasticity. In addition to their crucial involvement in normal brain physiology, it is well known that astrocytes adopt a reactive phenotype under most acute and chronic pathological conditions such as ischemia, trauma, brain cancer, epilepsy, demyelinating and neurodegenerative diseases. However, the functional impact of astrocyte reactivity is still unclear. During the last decades, the development of innovative approaches to study astrocytes has significantly improved our understanding of their prominent role in brain function and their contribution to disease states. In particular, new genetic tools, molecular probes, and imaging techniques that achieve high spatial and temporal resolution have revealed new insight into astrocyte functions in situ. This Research Topic provides a collection of cutting-edge techniques, approaches and models to study astrocytes in health and disease. It also suggests new directions to achieve discoveries on these fascinating cells.

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