Seminar Series – Gek-Ming Sia, Ph.D.
Event Date & TimeSeptember 16, 2020 at 12 Noon
DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACOLOGY
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
12:00pm – Virtual Presentation
Department of Pharmacology
UT Health San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas
Regulation of Synapse Elimination in Brain Development and Disease
Complement-mediated microglial phagocytosis of synapses is a core pathway for synapse elimination in both brain development and neurological diseases. Is this pathway regulated in the brain, and does its regulation affect synapse elimination? In this talk, I will present recent findings from my laboratory identifying the first complement inhibitor in the brain which protect a specific subset of synapses from elimination. These findings suggest that the brain contains a diverse repertoire of complement regulators, each of which may protect a specific class of synapses from elimination during specific time windows. This spatial-temporal control of synapse elimination likely plays an important role circuitry maturation during brain development, and has important implications for neurological diseases which involve complement-microglial mediated synapse loss, such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. Differences in levels of complement inhibitors may also account for individual differences in disease susceptibility, and drugs that can elevate levels of complement inhibitors may represent a new therapeutic approach for complement-associated diseases.