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PNB Colloquium Series - Wataru Inoue - Neural plasticity mechanisms for stress adaptation



Wataru Inoue
University of Western Ontario

Neural plasticity mechanisms for stress adaptation 
Rapid recruitment of neuronal and hormonal responses to stress is essential for coping with imminent threats. However, their chronic activation can be detrimental. Thus, the long-term survival of animals necessitates an ability to dampen stress responses as a function of stress history. I will present our recent finding that identified a neural correlates for the adaptation of hormonal response to stress. Using mouse models of chronic stress and slice patch-clamp electrophysiology, we found that hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone neurons (key regulators of hormonal response) decreases their intrinsic excitability in a time course that coincided with their loss of stress responsiveness in vivo. This intrinsic excitability plasticity co-developed with an expansion of surface membrane area, increasing passive electronic load and dampening excitability. Interestingly, chronic stress augmented ruffling of the plasma membrane, suggesting an ultrastructural plasticity that may efficiently accommodate membrane area expansion. I will discuss physiological consequences of this intrinsic excitability plasticity in the adaptation of the neuroendocrine stress response during chronic stress.

Host: Deda Gillespie
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