The Russian Conference with international participation «Optogenetics+ 2020»
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Photopharmacology is a direction based on the creation of chemical compounds capable of controlling the functions of biological molecules possessing photosensitive switches. This approach is based on the ability of certain molecules (azobenzenes, spiropiranes, diarylethenes) to change their conformation upon illumination with the light of specific wavelength. Photochromic compounds that activate or inhibit the activityofkey cellularproteins,especially ionchannels, represent apowerfultoolsfor non-invasive control of neuronal network activity and, consequently, functional control of organisms and their behaviour. Photoswitchable regulators have been designed and characterized for a large number of ligand-gated receptors in the mammalian nervous system. Wehave developed several new azobenzene-based lightcontrolled compounds capable to modulate function of inhibitory GABA and glycine Cys-loop receptors. The other photochromic compounds, which offers new opportunities to study and modulate neurotransmission mediated by Cys-loop receptors will be also described.
We will describe recent discoveries and properties of rhodopsins which are potential candidates as next generation optogenetic tools. Comprehensive structure-function studies of the representatives of recently characterized xenorhodopsins (XeRs), a family of microbial rhodopsins will be presented. We showed that these proteins are inward proton pumps in E.coli cells, human embryonic kidney cells, neuroblastoma cells and rat hippocampal neuronal cells. It will be demonstrated that the XeRs are powerful pumps which are able to elicit action potentials in rat hippocampal neuronal cells up to their maximal intrinsic firing frequency, proving that the inwardly directed proton pumps are suitable for light induced remote control of neurons and are an alternative to the well-known cation selective channelrhodopsins. In addition, we will provide for the first time the results of structure-function studies of viral rhodopsins and discuss their potential for optogenetic applications.
Everyone in their life is faced with public talks, and usially they are accompanied by presentations. However, not everyone is proficient in the visual accompaniment of their speeches, and sometimes this presentation can even “kill” the speech. In this master class, we will discuss the mistakes that can be made in the process of preparing a presentation, and we will analyze 12 simple tips that will help make your speech brighter and more interesting for the audience. As a bonus, we will also talk about the rules for building and designing poster reports.
Optogenetics is a very young technology, but it has its own background and development. In his review lecture, scientific journalist and science historian Alexey paevsky will give a historical overview of the paths in physics, neurobiology and molecular biology that led to the emergence of thus method, as well as a brief overview of the directions and applications that optogenetics is currently developing.
Intensification of research in the 21st century resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of journals which publish scientific papers. Only in the field of biology and medicine there are about 3000 journal titles. It is currently an exciting and challenging time in the science publishing world as it transitions to a completely open access environment which means that all research data are instantly accessible to the public domain. This puts a significant burden on authors and Institutions since they need to cover publishing costs. The traditional journals are steadily replaced by electronic only journals and the number of journals publishing papers for free are rapidly declining. On the other hand, recent appearance of some dubious journals offering fast publication or even publication without any peer review casts a shade on the whole publishing industry. Impact factor of the journals and citation records (e.g. h-index) are now important parameters for considering employment strategies and research funding, invitations to talk at the meetings etc. Where to publish the results of your research and how make your paper more visible and citable is an important question for young scientists starting and developing their research career. It is also important to write your paper in the way that it gives a clear message to the readers avoiding direct translation of the text from your own language and plagiarism including extensive self-citation. The title, abstract and key words in the paper are also important for promoting visibility of your science. To avoid paying an excessive amount of money for publishing is another important strategy and it is worth to consider publishing in the journals owned by the learned societies or apply for reduced fees which many journals are offering to young scientists. Another important question is related to the peer review process of your paper. Selecting an appropriate journal where most of your peers are publishing similar research and suggesting confident experts as reviewers might help you to get a fair review and even valuable suggestions for improvement and further development of your work. Our experience in scientific publishing for more than three decades can help you to answer these important and burning questions and to guide you through the process of writing a concise research paper.
2015 – present Emeritus Senior Research Fellow, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, UK
2007 – present Leading scientist, Laboratory of Physiology and Pathology of CNS, Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry of Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia President of the European Society for Neurochemistry (ESN)
2011 – present Frontiers in Physiology (Review Editor)
2013 – present Frontiers in Neuroscience (Special topic editor, Associate Editor)
2017 – present Neurochemical Research (Special topic guest editor)
2020 – present Neurochemical Research (Editor)
Reviewer for more than 30 various scientific journals
Membership in the Societies:
UK Research Interests:
Epigenetic regulation of gene expression in response to various stimuli and factors is important for normal brain development and plasticity. It involves orchestration of numerous transcription factors which might be active only during development or in the adult nervous system. Mechanisms of epigenetic regulation include chromatin modifications (DNA methylation, post-translational histone modifications) and a fast-growing spectrum of small non-coding RNAs. Histone deacetylases (HDAC) which control gene silencing play an important role in gene regulation. The recently discovered mechanism of epigenetic regulation of a neuropeptidase neprilysin (NEP) and other genes by the amyloid precursor protein (APP) intracellular domain (AICD) and its dependence on the cell type and APP isoform expression suggest possibilities for selective manipulation of gene expression in neuronal cells. Our studies strongly indicate that in the process of gene regulation AICD competes with HDAC occupancy on the target gene promoters and treatment of cells or animals with HDAC inhibitors such as valproic acid results in up-regulation of NEP and TTR mRNA and protein levels and increased NEP activity leading to a reduction in total cellular amyloid (Aβ) peptide levels. Overexpression of APP in neuronal cells, in turn, affects the levels of HDAC mRNA expression, which extends the role of this protein in gene regulation. The development profile and specificity of NEP gene expression in the brain suggest the existence of a certain specificity in its epigenetic regulation in different brain structures and cell types. Understanding these mechanisms and modulating NEP expression in the brain by various classes of natural and synthetic compounds, including HDAC inhibitors or chromatin modulators, opens new avenues for developing preventive strategies in neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.
Honours of Dygalo NN:
Elected as a Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences of the Department of Physiology – 2011.
Winner of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Award in Fundamental Biology.
Member of the editorial boards of the journals «Stress – the International Journal on the Biology of Stress», «Uspekhi Fiziologicheskikh Nauk [Successes of Physiological Sciences]», «Vavilov journal of genetics and breeding» and «Integrative Physiology».
Announcement of the lecture «Study of neuronal mechanisms of psychoemotional behavior using optogenetic and chemogenetic approaches»:
Manifestations of anxiety and depression with the modulation of rat brain neurons activity were investigated by opto- and chemogenetics methods. The optostimulation of glutamatergic neurons (GN) of the hippocampus enhanced the depressive-like state of animals directly during stimulation periods. The chemogenetic lowering of the activity threshold of these neurons did not affect the expression of the stress-induced depressive state but increased the latent period of its manifestation. The chemogenetic activation of the prefrontal cortex GN reduced animal anxiety, but not depressive behavior. However, chemogenetic decrease of the cortex GN activity increased depressive manifestations. Thus, the behavioral consequences of changes in cortex and hippocampal GN activity depend on the method of their modulation: in optogenetic stimulation – due to rapid change of ion current through the cell membrane, and in chemogenetic modulation – due to change of the threshold of neuronal activity. These features of the methods should be taken into account in their application in experimental studies and possibly in the future for practical purposes.
Announcement of the lecture «The role of NMDA receptors in cerebellar neurodegeneration caused by chronic photostimulation of ChR2 in Bergmann glia»:
The aim of the work was to create a model of selective cerebellar astrogliosis (using nonspecific (chronic photoactivation of Bergmann glia, expressing ChR2) and specific (expression of mutant Ataxin 1) cerebellar astrocyte stimuli), to study the effect of astroglia on transsynaptic transmission of Purkinje cells in the early stages of disease, and estimate the effect of memantine to this process.
Reactive astroglia changes at an early stage of the pathological process lead to a disturbance of morphology and reduce the number of neurons in the cerebellar cortex. Memantine significantly improves the morphology of astrocytes and positively affects the dendritic tree of Purkinje cells without affecting their total number. We found similar pathomorphological changes and the positive effect of oral administration of memantine in an astrogliosis model with selective expression of mutant Ataxin 1 in Bergmann glia.
Honours of Salmina AB:
Laureate of the Medal and Award of the Russian Academy of Sciences for young researchers,
Recipient of the State Government Award on Science and Technology for young researchers,
Head of the Leading Scientific School of the Russian Federation (on Medicine),
Recipient of the Scopus Award Russia,
Liaison Professor of the Niigata University (Japan),
Collaborative Professor of the Kanazawa University (Japan).
Announcement of the lecture «Optogenetic approaches to control astroglial activity in brain neurovascular unit»:
Topic issues on the application of optogenetic protocols to astrocytes activation and controlling intercellular communications within the neurovascular unit/blood-brain barrier will be discussed. The report will be focused on experimental data on current opportunities to manage astrocyte-mediated mechanisms required for maintaning the blood-brain barrier structural and functional integrity, activity of cerebral endothelial cells, and neurogenic potential of stem and progenitors cells within the brain neurogenic niches.
Announcement of the lecture «Microbial rhodopsins in optogenetics: problems and perspectives»:
Microbial rhodopsins are retinal-containing proteins that perform light-dependent ion transport, sensory and other functions. A large number of their variants have been found in nature or constructed using protein engineering based on information about the spatial structure of the proteins belonging to this family. Cationic and anionic channelrhodopsins are widely used in molecular biology and biomedical research as a universal tool for light-induced regulation of various cellular processes. In particular, the technology of ontogenetic restoration of vision due to the expression of channelrhodopsins in retinal cells is proposed. In order to effectively implement the possibilities of optogenetic approaches, it is necessary to further improve both the functional properties of rhodopsin molecules (increasing sensitivity, optimizing kinetics, etc.) and the mechanisms of their targeted expression in particular cells or cell compartments.
Announcement of the lecture «Optogenetic tools for experiments with behaving animals»:
At this time optogenetics has found many applications in different fields of neuroscience. Moreover, large arrays of optogenetic technologies, which enable fast and precise control over neurons within behaving mammals, have greatly progressed as well. The report will focus on optogenetic tools to investigate neural circuits in freely moving animals. The methods of targeting opsins to the cell population of interest, strategies of photostimulating cells in awake, behaving animals and integration of optogenetic control with readouts (behavioral, electrophysiological et al.) will be reviewed in the report.
The report will also provide results of application of optical interface developed in our lab which allows bilateral optical access to any brain structure in freely moving rats.
Honours of Bregestovski PD:
One of the most cited scientists in France – 2001
A.V. Palladin’s medal (Ukraine) – 2008
A.D. Speranski’s medal (Russia) – 2012
Honorary Professor of Kazan State Medical University – 2016
Announcement of the lecture «Photochromic modulation of Сys-loop receptors»:
Photopharmacology is a direction based on the creation of chemical compounds capable of controlling the functions of biological molecules possessing photosensitive switches. This approach is based on the ability of certain molecules (azobenzenes, spiropiranes, diarylethenes) to change their conformation upon illumination with the light of specific wavelength. Photochromic compounds that activate or inhibit the activity of key cellular proteins, especially ion channels, represent a powerful tools for non-invasive control of neuronal network activity and, consequently, functional control of organisms and their behaviour. Photoswitchable regulators have been designed and characterized for a large number of ligand-gated receptors in the mammalian nervous system. We have developed several new azobenzene-based light-controlled compounds capable to modulate function of inhibitory GABA and glycine Cys-loop receptors. The other photochromic compounds, which offer new opportunities to study and modulate neurotransmission mediated by Cys-loop receptors will be also described.
Retinitis pigmentosa and other severe degenerative diseases of the retina most often lead to complete blindness and, unfortunately, are not amenable to treatment. There is a strategy for prosthetics of a degenerating retina using optogenetic approaches in which photosensitive proteins are introduced into either bipolar or ganglion cells. This operation provides bipolar cells or ganglion cells the property of photosensitivity, and turns them into pseudo-photoreceptors.
Over the past decade, mouse models with a degenerated retina have shown the principal opportunity of such prosthetics. In these animals, the expression of photosensitive proteins in degenerated neurons of the retina led to the appearance of photosensitivity and even the ability to orientate in space. At the same time, a circle of problems has yet to be resolved – low sensitivity to light of prosthetic cells, low selectivity and effectiveness of viral constructs, different specificity of viral constructs to a healthy and degenerated retina, and others.
– Has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia.
– Worked in the Brain Science Institute of RIKEN, and the Human Brain Research Center, Kyoto. Functional brain mapping, neural circuits and different types of brain optical imaging are his main scientific interests as well as professional background.
– Was working in few US universities, last years – in the University of Maryland (UMB). His current focus is on functional brain mapping, epileptic studies neural network and traumatic brain injury and regeneration.
– Author and co-author of more than 40 publications in peer-reviewed magazines, and few book chapters.
– A senior editor of the Journal of Neuroscience and Neuroengineering, member of the board of directors of Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT), and member of editorial board of a few scientific journals.
Currently, optical recording of neural activity using genetically-encoded fluorescent calcium probes is widespread. Such an approach allows capturing the activity of large populations of neurons in non-narcotized animals when they perform various behavioral tasks. Traditionally, multiphoton microscopy is used for such recording, which, for all its advantages, has one significant drawback – the high cost of equipment, which greatly limits the possibility of using this approach. Recently, a much more affordable alternative to the confocal microscope has appeared, which also allows optical recording of neuronal activity in free behaving animals – these are miniature recording microscopes – miniscopes. One of the features of the miniscope is the possibility to assemble it from separately purchased components, which makes this method of recording of neuronal activity affordable to many laboratories.
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