Research

Research Lines

Role of Astrocytes on remyelination:

Myelin sheath speeds up action potential conduction allowing for the proper information processing of the central nervous system. Thus, in pathologies characterized by myelin loss, such as Multiple Sclerosis, patients show several neurological impairments. Multiple sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of myelin in different regions of the CNS. In addition to the loss of myelin, demyelinated lesions present a massive recruitment of reactive astrocytes. The role of these astrocytes in the process of demyelination or in myelin repair mediated by remyelinating oligodendrocytes is not totally understood. By combining viral vector-driven protein expression, optogenetics, in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, conventional immunostaining and microscopy, our laboratory aims to understand the role played by astrocytes on myelin formation and regeneration.

Axon-OPC communication:

Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) are the only glial cell type receiving glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses from neurons in the adult central nervous system. After a demyelinated injury, OPCs migrate into the demyelinated area, then they proliferate and later differentiate into matures remyelinating oligodendrocytes.  Previous results showed that proliferative OPCs do not form synapses with axons in the lesion, but the contacts are recovered later during remyelination stages. We are also interested in determining the mechanisms behind this communication, could it be mediated by other cellular types? What is(are) the molecular mediator(s)? How it is modulated under pathological conditions?

Funding

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Collaborations

Dr. María Cecilia Angulo, Inserm U 894 Centre de Psychiatrie et Neurosciences, Paris, France.

Dr. Carole Escartin, UMR 9199, CNRS, CEA, University Paris-Saclay, MIRCen, Fontenay-aux-roses, France.

Dr. Etienne Audinat, Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle, Department of Neuroscience, University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France.

Dr. Francisco Rivera, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile.

Dr. Rodrigo del Río, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, P. Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Dr. Mauricio Retamal, Centro de Fisiología Celular e Integrativa, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile.

Dr. Juan Andrés Orellana, Facultad de Medicina, P. Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.