Tongji University School of Medicine



【The 7th International Elite Forum】

CreatedTime:2017-12-26 12:00:00 Click:


Locomotion is a complex motor task generated by dedicated spinal circuits that drive motor neurons in a precise sequence to control the timing and vigor of movements, but the many aspects of the underlying circuit logic remain to be understood. Here we reveal, in adult zebrafish, how the selective distribution of two excitatory V2a interneuron types within the locomotor network transforms upstream excitation into an appropriate, task-dependent pattern of motor neuron recruitment. Bursting-type V2a interneurons with unidirectional axons targeting the distal dendrites of predominantly slow motor neurons to provide potent, non-linear excitation involving NMDA-dependent short-term plasticity. A second type, non-bursting V2a interneurons with bidirectional axons, target the soma of predominantly fast motor neurons, providing weaker, non-potentiating excitation. Together, this ensures the rapid, first-order recruitment of the slow circuit during swimming, whilst reserving the fast circuit for highly salient stimuli that provide synchronous inputs. The results thus identify how excitatory interneuron diversity is selectively captured and transformed into a parsimonious task-specific circuit design that controls the vigor of locomotion.


Professional Activities:

2005-2012: Director of the Graduate School in Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Inst.

2008-: Member of Executive Committee, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute

2008-: Coordinator of the zebrafish core facility, Karolinska Institute

2009-2012: Coordinator of a European Consortium “Spinal Cord Repair” supported by EU – FP7

2008-: Member of a review panel, Swedish Research Council

2008-: Member of a review panel, Research Council for Health of the Academy of Finland

2007-: Member of a review panel, Agence National de la Recherche, France.


Research grant sources:

Swedish Research Council, Medicine and Health – Principal Investigator

European Commission, FP7 – Coordinator of Spinal Cord Repair Consortium

Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation – Principal Investigator

Karolinska Institute – Distinguished Professor Award

Strategic Research Program in Neuroscience – Swedish Research Council



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