Meg Veruki (Department of Biomedicine, UiB)
"Structure and function of neurons in the inner retina"
Meg Veruki, Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen
Our lab is interested in the cellular and molecular basis of synaptic transmission and synaptic integration in the central nervous system. Our goal is to understand how different types of neurons, through their unique structure, synaptic connectivity, and the properties and location of their ion channels determine their computational and signal processing properties. The primary techniques we use are targeted patch-clamp recording and live-cell injections of visually-identified neurons in rat retina, as well as 2-photon imaging, computational modeling, and confocal microscopy to localize receptors and synaptic proteins to individual neurons and neuronal circuits.
One of the neurons that we are currently focused on is the bistratified, narrow-field AII amacrine cell, an interneuron that forms a “bridge”, via electrical and chemical synapses, between the rod and cone visual pathways. Here I will present our most recent work on this multifunctional interneuron that, although lacking an axon, generates action potentials at a single specialized process that resembles an axon initial segment. We are currently investigating the generation and modulation of these action potentials and their functional role in the different retinal microcircuits in which the AII amacrine is involved.