Advanced undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students of Neuroscience, Molecular Biosciences and related Life Sciences.
Basic knowledge of neurobiology as well as cell and molecular biology is assumed.
The students will familiarize with the concept, mechanisms and consequences of synaptic signaling and activity–dependent synaptic plasticity in the central nervous system. On completion of the course, the student has gained an understanding of the molecular mechanisms of chemical neurotransmission, can explain how neurotransmitters act on their receptors and induce downstream signals and is able to integrate this information into a physiological context. The student has also obtained practice in critical reading and discussing literature and communicating scientific knowledge.
Period 3 or 4
The course addresses the mechanisms underlying fast synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the brain. The topics include structure and function of ligand-gated ion channel and G-protein coupled receptors for major neurotransmitters, mechanisms underlying neurotransmitter release as well as induction and expression of Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity. The focus is on the molecular mechanisms mediating glutamatergic transmission, but modulation of these mechanisms in response to physiological signals as well as its relevance for circuit function and behavior will be covered as well.
Lectures, seminars (incl. own oral presentation and written summary) and an exam. Contact teaching approximately 35 h, independent and group work 100 h.
Reading list covering relevant material from neuroscience textbooks and review and research articles will be given in the beginning of and during the course.
Grade (scale 0-5) is based on attendance and activity in class, presentation and the exam.
University lecturer Sari Lauri, Professor Kari Keinänen
The course provides useful background for studies of neurobiology, pharmacology and cell and molecular biology.
Replaces the former course 920006 Synaptic signaling and plasticity 3-5 cr.