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The role of astrocytes of the lateral parafacial region in the central generation of expiratory and sympathetic activities and in the control of cardiovascular function in mice.

Grant number: 22/02138-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2022
Effective date (End): March 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - General Physiology
Principal Investigator:Davi José de Almeida Moraes
Grantee:Renato Willian Martins Sá
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/15957-2 - Astrocytic modulation on brainstem neurons involved with generation and control of sympathetic and respiratory activities in rodents submitted to hypoxia, AP.TEM


Astrocytes play an important role in controlling neuronal excitability by modulating synaptic transmission through the release of signaling molecules or "gliotransmitters". Several studies suggest that astrocytes can influence neural circuits controlling different physiological functions. However, it is still not well defined whether astrocytes can directly modulate neural networks involved in the central generation of expiratory and sympathetic activities directly impacting cardiovascular function. Therefore, the hypothesis of the current proposal is that the astrocytes within the ventral surface of the medulla participate in the central generation of expiratory and sympathetic activity and control the cardiovascular function of mice through synaptic modulation of expiratory neurons in this region. This study will focus on the lateral parafacial region of the medulla (pFL), where astrocytic modulation of neuronal excitability and/or synaptic transmission would directly affect expiratory, sympathetic, and cardiovascular function. We will evaluate the effects of increasing intracellular calcium concentration in pFL astrocytes of mice (chemogenetics) in pFL neurons' excitability using electrophysiology techniques and intracellular calcium image analysis.

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