OPTOGENETICA: CONTROLLARE I NEURONI CON LA LUCE

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Anna Moroni *
(*) Autore principale:
Anna Moroni | anna.moroni@unimi.it

Abstract

Optogenetics is a booming technique in neuroscience that allows manipualtion of neuronal activity by light. Neuronal activation can be achieved by the activation of light-gated cation channels while neuronal inhibition relies on the activation of chloride pumps and channels. We have engineered a light-gated potassium (K+) channel (BLINK) by linking the plant photoreceptor module LOV2 to the viral channel Kcv. Upon illumination with blue light (450 nm), BLINK channel hyperpolarizes neurons to EK and this effect persists for several minutes even in the dark. Pilot experiments in a mouse pain model show that this protracted light-off activity can be successfully employed for long term pain relief after activation of the channel by a short pulse of light.


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