NYSCF – Robertson Investigator Shows Reprogrammed Neurons ‘Rewire’ Communication Networks
NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Paola Arlotta, Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, showed that neuronal networks of communication between reprogrammed neurons and the surrounding cells can be changed. Essentially, that the neighboring cells of reprogrammed neurons recognize that they are changed, and therefore change how they communicate with the ‘new’ cells. This work, published in Neuron, builds on Dr. Arlotta’s previous finding that neurons can be reprogrammed into different neuronal types in the brains of live animals, a result that upended traditional neurobiology dogma.
This research has vast implications on understanding how neural communication works and builds circuits in early development as well as how this communication frays and deteriorates in neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases such as autism and schizophrenia.