Ca2+ is an ion of utmost importance for the maintenance of numerous processes in the central nervous system (CNS), including neuronal development and synaptic communication and plasticity. In the mitochondrial matrix, Ca2+ induces the activity of many enzymes associated with energy metabolism, thus coupling ATP production to energetic demands under different stimuli. Hence, mitochondrial Ca2+ transport - in particular the influx through the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) and efflux through the mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCLX) - comprises a critical metabolic regulation point. Cell types across the CNS present diverse metabolic profiles, although they might be tightly coupled, as is the case of neurons and astrocytes. However, these processes are yet to be fully characterized. Therefore, this project aims to evaluate metabolic regulation exerted by the mitochondrial Ca2+ handling system, thus contributing to a better understanding of the interaction between energy metabolism and the CNS.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: