Homeostatic regulation of inhibition is a fundamental problem faced by many neural circuits. However, the rules governing homeostasis of inhibitoty neurons may differ from those operating in excitatory neurons, since the inhibitory neurons must he regulated, not only by their own firing, but by the overall level of actirity in the circuit. Altered homeostatic regulation of inhibition has been implicated in brain disorders including schizophrenia, autism and autism spectrum disorders and epilepsy. Furthermore, genes implicated in these disorders have potent actions on specific subtypes of cortical interneurons, but the relationships between these pathways and homeostatic regulation of actirity are incompletely understood. We vrill investigate the role of DNA methylation in regulating the """"""""setpoint"""""""" or """"""""operating range"""""""" of the largest subgroup of cortical interneurons, the parvalbumin positive fast-spiking (FS) neurons in mice. We vrill study the physiological, epigenetic, and transcriptional consequences of deleting enzymes that mediate methylation, selectively in these neurons . We vrill study the interaction between this regulation and regulation by actirity and other signaling pathways known to regulate these neurons including neuregulin 1 and its receptor ErbB4. In a second set of studies we investigate the role of micro RNA pathways in homeostatic plasticity of FS cell excitabUity, first by deleting the bios3nithetic enzyme dicer in FS neurons, and then by using novel profiling methods to identify actirity regulated microRNAs in these neurons. Finally, we ask which neuronal populations'actirity is the critical signal driring various forms of homeostatic regulation of inhibition. Using a combination of optogenetic activation and silencing strategies, we vrill determine which components of homeostatic plasticity are cell autonomous, and which depend on network actirity.

Public Health Relevance

Disorders that affect the development and function of the brain including schizophrenia, autism and related diseases and epilepsy may depend critically on regulation of the balance between neuronal excitation and inhibition. A better understanding of the underlring mechanisms regulating this balance may suggest new targets for treating these important diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
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National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Initial Review Group (NSD)
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Brandeis University
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O'Leary, Timothy; Marder, Eve (2016) Temperature-Robust Neural Function from Activity-Dependent Ion Channel Regulation. Curr Biol 26:2935-2941
Gjorgjieva, Julijana; Drion, Guillaume; Marder, Eve (2016) Computational implications of biophysical diversity and multiple timescales in neurons and synapses for circuit performance. Curr Opin Neurobiol 37:44-52
Nelson, Sacha B; Valakh, Vera (2015) Excitatory/Inhibitory Balance and Circuit Homeostasis in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Neuron 87:684-98
Drion, Guillaume; O'Leary, Timothy; Marder, Eve (2015) Ion channel degeneracy enables robust and tunable neuronal firing rates. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:E5361-70
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