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Molecular Neurosciences (from synapse structure to function)
October 3 - 7
Core CNC Neuroscience Courses, Offered to the European Neuroscience Campus (ENC)

Ana Luisa Carvalho, Carlos Duarte, Ramiro Almeida, Emília Duarte

Ph.D. Programme in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine 2011/2012
Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC)
University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Molecular Neuroscience Course - From synapse structure to function
Date: October 3-7, 2011

Ana Luisa Carvalho (alc@cnc.uc.pt)
Carlos B. Duarte (cbduarte@ci.uc.pt)
Ramiro D. Almeida (ramirodalmeida@gmail.com)
Emília Duarte (epduarte@cnc.uc.pt)

Invited Lecturers:
Laurent Groc, CNRS-UMR 5091 Physiologie Cellulaire de la Synapse, Institut François Magendie, Université Bordeaux II, Bordeaux, France
Maria Luz Montesinos, Dpto. de Fisiología Médica y Biofísica, Facultad de Medicina., Universidad de Sevilla, Spain
Rui Peixoto, Duke University Medical Center, Department of Neurobiology, Durham, NC, USA

Monday, October 3rd
9h-9.15h: Structure of the course; Introduction of students and lecturers
9.15h-10.30h: Introduction to synapses: Structure-function and molecular composition
Ana Luisa Carvalho
11h-12.15h: Presynaptic terminal differentiation
Ramiro D. Almeida
14h-15.15h: Molecular triggers of synapse formation and maturation
Ramiro D. Almeida
15.30h-16.30h: Postsynaptic receptor function
Ana Luisa Carvalho

Tuesday, October 4th
9h-10.15h: Short-term and long-term forms of synaptic plasticity
Laurent Groc
10.45h-12h: Molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and memory formation – insights from novel optical methods
Laurent Groc
14h-15.15h: Function and regulation of local dendritic translation in synaptic plasticity
Maria Luz Montesinos

Wednesday, October 5th (Holiday in Portugal)
Hiking trip to Murtinheira

Thursday, October 6th
9h-10.15h: Synaptic modulation by neurotrophins
Carlos B. Duarte
10.45h-12h: Synaptic modulation by stress hormones
Laurent Groc
14.00h-15.15h: Structural plasticity
Rui Peixoto
16h: Seminar by Laurent Groc
Glutamate receptor surface dynamics: what is it good for?

Friday, October 7th
9h-10.15h: Glia cells and synaptic function
Emília Duarte
10.45h-12h: RNA transport and localized protein synthesis in neurodevelopmental disorders
Maria Luz Montesinos
16h: Seminar by Rui Peixoto
Trans-synaptic signaling by activity dependent cleavage of Neuroligin-1

Students Assignments
As an evaluation, students (groups of 3) will be asked to write a grant proposal. The starting point will be an assigned paper. The proposal should be written in English, Arial 11pt, normal spacing and with a maximum of 3 pages (excluding references).
The final grant proposal should include the following:
- Title
- State of the Art
- Tasks (should include expected results and methodology)
- References
The proposal should be sent to Ana Luisa Carvalho (alc@cnc.uc.pt) by October 9th, 2011
The evaluation criteria are the following:
- Scientific quality
- Novelty
- Feasibility
- Relevance (to the area of research)

Group 1: Ana Patricia Marques, Marcelo José Marques Correia, Pedro Afonso - Wang et al. Wang et al.Supl
Group 2: André Filipe Soares, Mariline Mendes Silva, Tânia Marisa Perestrelo – Groc et al
Group 3: António Carvalho Silva, Joana Ribeiro Guedes, Sofia Constantino Romano – Makuch et al.
Group 4: Catarina Praça Almeida, João Ribas Almeida, Steven Carvalho - Troca-Marín et al.
Group 5: Dominique Moreira Fernandes, Sara Monteiro Lopes, Lisbeth Silva – Lebeau et al.Brain Lebeau et al.Memory  

Background reading:
Jin & Garner (2008) Molecular Mechanisms of Presynaptic Differentiation. Annu. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol. 24:237–62.

Bourne JN and Harris KM Balancing Structure and Function at Hippocampal Dendritic Spines. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 2008. 31:47–67.

Long-term Plasticity
Kerchner GA and Nicoll RA.  2008. Silent synapses and the emergence of a postsynaptic mechanism for LTP.  Nature Reviews, Neuroscience 9: 813-825.
Turrigiano GG.  1999.  Homeostatic plasticity in neuronal networks:  the more things change, the more they stay the same. TINS 22:221-227.

Synaptic plasticity and receptor traffic
Kessels & Malinow (2009) Synaptic AMPA Receptor Plasticity and Behavior. Neuron 61, 340.
Shepherd & Huganir (2007) The Cell Biology of Synaptic Plasticity: AMPA Receptor Trafficking. Ann Rev Cell Dev. Biol. 23:613–43.
Groc & Choquet (2006) AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptor trafficking: multiple roads for reaching and leaving the synapse. Cell Tissue Res 326, 423.

Neurotrophins & Stress hormones
AL Carvalho, MV Caldeira, SD Santos and CB Duarte (2008) Role of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor at glutamatergic synapses. British J Pharmacol 153, S310–S324.
Volkmar Leßmann, Tanja Brigadski (2009) Mechanisms, locations, and kinetics of synaptic BDNF secretion: An update. Neuroscience Res 65, 11–22.
Krugers, Hoogenraad and Groc (2010) Stress hormones and AMPA receptor trafficking in synaptic plasticity and memory. Nature Rev. Neurosci. 11, 675.

Perea, Navarrete and Araque (2009) Tripartite synapses: astrocytes process
and control synaptic information. Trends in Neurosci. 32, 421.

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