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PDBEB Courses 2018/2019 - Synapse structure and function
April 29 - May 3
Coordinator: Ana Luisa Carvalho (alc@cnc.uc.pt) & Carlos Duarte (cbduarte@ci.uc.pt)
Synapse structure and function
Date: April 29-May 3, 2019

Location: CNC-Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Ana Luísa Carvalho (alc@cnc.uc.pt); CNC & FCTUC, University of Coimbra
Carlos B. Duarte (cbduarte@ci.uc.pt); CNC & FCTUC, University of Coimbra

Ana Luísa Cardoso, CNC, University of Coimbra ORCID;
Ana Luísa Carvalho, CNC & FCTUC, University of Coimbra ORCID; Lab
Carlos Duarte, CNC & FCTUC, University of Coimbra ORCID; Lab
João Peça, CNC, University of Coimbra ORCID; Lab
Luísa Cortes, CNC, University of Coimbra ORCID
Miranda Mele, CNC, University of Coimbra
Paulo Pinheiro, CNC, University of Coimbra ORCID; Lab
Ramiro D. Almeida, iBIMED University of Aveiro ORCID
Ricardo Rodrigues, CNC, University of Coimbra ORCID; Lab


April 29
9.00h-9.15h: Structure of the course; Introduction of students and lecturers
9.15h-10.30h: Neuronal migration: inter- and intracellular signaling. Ricardo Rodrigues
11.00h-12.15h: Molecular triggers of synapse formation and maturation -Ramiro D. Almeida

14.00h-15.30h: Electrophysiology: a primer (I) - João Peça
15.45h-17.15h: Electrophysiology: a primer (II) - Paulo Pinheiro
17.30h-18.30h: Introduction to synapses: structure-function and molecular composition - Ana Luisa Carvalho

April 30
9.00h-10.00h: Introduction to the presynapse - Paulo Pinheiro
10.15h-11.15h: Methods for studying presynaptic function – Paulo Pinheiro
11.30 -12.30h: Postsynaptic excitatory receptor function - Ana Luisa Carvalho

14.00h-15.00h: Synaptic plasticity & molecular mechanisms -Ana Luísa Carvalho

15.15h-16.15: Inhibitory synapse function and plasticity – Miranda Mele
16.30h-17.30h: Synaptic sculpting by microglia in health and disease – Ana Luisa Cardoso

May 1 - holiday

May 2
9:00h-10.00h - Multi-photon microscopy: principles and applications; Live imaging of neurons and synapses in vivo - Luisa Cortes

10:30h - 17:30h: Practical sessions
(1) Calcium imaging in cultured neurons – Miranda Mele

May 3
9.00h-10.00h: Neuromodulation - Carlos Duarte

10:30h - 17:30h: Practical sessions
(2) Two-photon microscopy - Imaging spine dynamics in organotypic hippocampal slices - Luísa Cortes

14h: Seminar : The role of the hippocampal CA2 area in social memory (dys)function
Torcato Meira

Grant proposal Deadline
– May 10, 2019

Student Assignments:

The students (in groups of 2) will write a grant proposal based on original papers that will be proposed to them. The grant proposal is 3 pages long and should include the following sections: a) State of the art; b) Objectives of proposal; 3) Proposed tasks and methodology. Throughout the course the students will meet with tutors for discussing the grant proposal.

Research papers for grant proposals:

Milene Gonçalves, Mariana Laranjo:
Leal G, Comprido D, de Luca P, Morais E, Rodrigues L, Mele M, Santos AR, Costa RO, Pinto MJ, Patil S, Berentsen B, Afonso P, Carreto L, Li KW, Pinheiro P, Almeida RD, Santos MAS, Bramham CR, Duarte CB. (2017) The RNA-binding protein hnRNP K mediates the effect of BDNF on dendritic mRNA metabolism and regulates synaptic NMDA receptors in hippocampal neurons. eNeuro. 4(6). pii: ENEURO.0268-17.2017.

Julie Reis, Filipe Duarte, Francisca Silva:
Silva M.M., Rodrigues B., Fernandes J., Santos S.D., Carreto L., Santos M.A.S., Pinheiro P., Carvalho A.L. (2019) MicroRNA-186-5p controls GluA2 surface expression and synaptic scaling in hippocampal neurons. PNAS 116(12), 5727-5736

João Magalhães, Alexander Santos:
Tejeshwar C. Rao, Zuleirys Santana Rodriguez, Mazdak M. Bradberry, Alexandra H. Ranski, Peter J. Dahl, Michael W. Schmidtke, Paul M. Jenkins, Daniel Axelrod, Edwin R. Chapman, David R. Giovannucci,3 and Arun Anantharam (2017) Synaptotagmin isoforms confer distinct activation kinetics anddynamics to chromaffin cell granules. J. Gen. Physiol. Vol. 149 No. 8 763–780.

Background reading:

Pinto MJ and Almeida RD (2016) Puzzling out presynaptic differentiation. J. Neurochem. (2016) 10.1111/jnc.13702

Neural Signaling, Channels and Transporters
D. Purves et al. Neuroscience

Presynaptic Mechanisms
Sudhof T (2013) Neurotransmitter Release: The Last Millisecond in the Life of a Synaptic Vesicle. Neuron 80,675.

Synaptic plasticity
Nicoll RA (2016) A Brief History of Long-Term Potentiation. Neuron 93, 281.

Victoria M. Ho, Ji-Ann Lee and Kelsey C Martin (2011) The cell biology of synaptic plasticity. Science 334, 623. DOI: 10.1126/science.1209236

Fernandes D and Carvalho AL (2016) Mechanisms of homeostatic plasticity in the excitatory synapse. J Neurochem 139, 973-996.

Regehr WG (2012). Short-Term Presynaptic Plasticity. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, 4(7).


Leal G, Bramham CR, Duarte CB. (2017) BDNF and Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity. Vitam Horm. 104:153-195.

Two-Photon Microscopy
Svoboda K and Yasuda R (2006) Principles of Two-Photon Excitation Primer Microscopy and Its Applications to Neuroscience. Neuron 50, 823–839.

GABAergic synapses
Chiayu Q. Chiu, Andrea Barberis and Michael J. Higley (2019) Preserving the balance: diverse forms of long-term GABAergic synaptic plasticity. Nature Rev Neurosci 20(5):272-281.

Synaptic modulation by the microglia
Morgane S. Thion, Florent Ginhoux, Sonia Garel (2018) Microglia and early brain development: An intimate journey. Science 362, 185–189.
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