From synapses to microcircuits
Neurons in the cerebellar nuclei (bright yellow) communicate with subcortical brain areas through numerous axonal projections, the functions of which we are investigating in the lab.
PKC expression in the hippocampus
The sole output of the cerebellar cortex, Purkinje neurons are labeled with antibodies against protein kinase C. From Fioravante et al., 2012.
For the study of microcircuits, we use various mouse lines to achieve cell-type specific expression of opsins. Here, channelrhodopsin-mCherry is expressed in the cerebellum of an L7-Cre mouse. Fioravante, unpublished.
We use targeted injections of viruses to achieve localized expression of different proteins. Here, Purkinje neurons within specific cerebellar lobules express channelrhodopsin-GFP (green). Note the axons coursing through the white matter on their way to deep cerebellar nuclei. Fioravante Lab, unpublished.
Calyces of Held
The calyx of Held synapse in the auditory brainstem is a powerful model system for the study of synaptic transmission. Here, calyces express a mutated form of protein kinase C (green) and are stained for vGlut1 (red). From Fioravante et al., 2014.
Calyces of Held
For 2-photon calcium imaging at mature synapses, calcium dyes are bulk-loaded in the presynaptic terminals together with a structural dye (Alexa 594, red). Fioravante, unpublished.
We can manipulate gene expression in the cortex and hippocampus through in utero electroporation. Here, using this technique, green fluorescence protein is expressed in different cortical layers. Thanawala and Fioravante, unpublished.