My doctoral work was focused on understanding of the individual neuron, specifically on how it responded to changes in activity in its environment and to blocking of specific channels of input. We discovered a tuning mechanism that allowed an adjusted response depending on the level of activity and also qualitative changes in the way the neuron communicated after long periods of activity deprivation (neuron neurosis?).
I also spent many years looking for evidence of presynaptic protein translation, a finding that would suggest that synapses are more autonomous than previously thought and that neurons therefore have a much more expanded computational capability. We found some really strong evidence but couldn’t nail it down all the way so the work remains yet unpublished….
Beta Ca2+/CaM-dependent kinase type II triggers upregulation of GluA1 to coordinate adaptation to synaptic inactivity in hippocampal neurons. Groth RD, Lindskog M, Thiagarajan TC, Li L, Tsien RW. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jan 11;108(2):828-33.
Postsynaptic GluA1 enables acute retrograde enhancement of presynaptic function to coordinate adaptation to synaptic inactivity. Lindskog M, Li L, Groth RD, Poburko D, Thiagarajan TC, Han X, Tsien RW.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010
LTP and adaptation to inactivity: overlapping mechanisms and implications for metaplasticity. Thiagarajan TC, Lindskog M, Malgaroli A, Tsien RW. Neuropharmacology. 2007 Jan;52(1):156-75.
Adaptation to synaptic inactivity in hippocampal neurons. Thiagarajan TC, Lindskog M, Tsien RW. Neuron. 2005 Sep 1;47(5):725-37.
Comment on Adaptation to synaptic inactivity in hippocampal neurons: Inactivity sets XL synapses in motion Gundlfinger A, Schmitz D. Neuron. 2005 Sep 1;47(5):623-5.
alpha- and betaCaMKII. Inverse regulation by neuronal activity and opposing effects on synaptic strength.Thiagarajan TC, Piedras-Renteria ES, Tsien RW. Neuron. 2002 Dec 19;36(6):1103-14.
Resting and active properties of pyramidal neurons in subiculum and CA1 of rat hippocampus. Staff NP, Jung HY, Thiagarajan T, Yao M, Spruston N. J Neurophysiol. 2000 Nov;84(5):2398-408.