S30  Structure and dynamics of inhibitory synapses in health and disease

Andrea Barberis (Genova, Italy) and Christian Werner (Würzburg)

Live Discussion: Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 17:00 – 18:00h

Inhibition exerts a pivotal role in network features such as oscillations and generation of cell assemblies. These features are linked with the implementation of specific brain states and in the formation and retrieval of memory. Moreover, malfunctioning of inhibition is tightly associated with several neurodevelopmental disorders. Currently it is believed that the fine control exerted by inhibition in the brain is achieved through the coordinated activity of several subclasses of inhibitory interneurons showing specific morphology, spiking activity and innervation selectivity onto pyramidal neuronal sub-regions. However how the specific features of inhibitory synapses contribute to the inhibitory function is only beginning to be unraveled. Fast neuronal inhibition in the central nervous system is mainly mediated by GABAA receptors in cortical and hippocampal brain regions. In brainstem and spinal cord, glycine and GABA receptors regulate inhibitory transmission and show synaptic co-localization. In both types of inhibitory synapses the synaptic scaffolding molecule gephyrin regulates receptor stabilization at postsynaptic sites. However, several questions remain unaddressed: i) do inhibitory synapses show similar plasticity with respect to their excitatory counterparts? ii) what is the impact of the nanoscale organization of inhibitory synapses in their plasticity and diversity?; iii) what is the role of synaptic protein diffusion in the inhibitory synaptic function? Is the maturation and stability of inhibitory synapses altered in pathological conditions? In the present symposium these timely questions will be addressed by six scientists focusing on the function of inhibitory synapses at different spatial and temporal scales.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of mbf Europe
S30-1 Enrica Maria Petrini, Genova, Italy
Molecular dynamics at inhibitory synapses during iLTP

S30-2 Carmen Villmann, Würzburg, Germany
Glycinergic inhibition in health and disease

S30-3 Nele Marie Burdina, Cologne, Germany
Structural insights into gephyrin interacting with the full-length glycine receptor intracellular domains within a pentameric assembly

S30-4 Christian G Specht, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France
Quantitative SR-CLEM reveals stereotypic glycine receptor packing at native spinal cord synapses

S30-5 Lara Senn, Modena, Italy
Augmentation of endogenous neurosteroid synthesis alters experimental status epilepticus dynamics

S30-6 Christian Werner, Würzburg, Germany
Bioorthogonal click-chemistry labeling of proteins at the GABAergic synapse