Thursday, January 13, 2022 -
12:00 to 13:00

BMC Seminar Thursday 13th of January at 12:00 on Zoom:

Speaker: Fatich Mechmet, PhD student under supervision of Pétur H. Petersen and Eiríkur Steingrímsson, Department of Anatomy, Biomedical Center, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland  

Title: The role of Mitf in neuronal activity

Abstract: The olfactory bulb (OB) is the first relay center in the brain that mediates olfactory information processing in the central nervous system (CNS) and has well-defined and multi-layered neuronal subtypes. The transcription factor MITF, known as a master regulator of melanocytes, is essential for the regulation of key genes for melanocyte development and differentiation, and functions as an oncogene in melanoma. Interestingly, Mitf has a distinct expression pattern in projection neurons of the OB, the mitral and tufted (M/T) cells. Our group has established the role of MITF in the regulation of the expression of key potassium channel subunits and its role in homeostatic intrinsic plasticity in OB neurons. The lack of Mitf results in hyperactive primary projection neurons. Changes in neuronal function (neuroplasticity) are regulated by neuronal activity, and are central to adaptation, memory, learning and neurodegeneration. Understanding the role of Mitf in the OB is therefore likely to expand our knowledge of these fundamental processes of the brain. This project has two main aims. First, we determined the possible age-related deficits and/or detrimental effects of putative long-term neuronal hyperactivity on aged Mitf null mice OB using different methods, including gene expression analysis and behavioral experiments. Second, we have used various approaches to identify potential MITF target genes as this is central to understand its neuronal role. In this presentation I will show some preliminary data from ongoing experiments and will discuss further plans.

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