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SELF-FUNDING MSc BY RESEARCH PROJECT. Stellar antidepressants: dissecting antidepressant mechanisms on astrocytes


   School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience

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  Dr Valentina Mosienko  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Read more about Dr Mosienko’s team and research here and on Twitter

Growing amount of evidence suggests that therapeutic effects of most prescribed antidepressants such as specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) cannot be explained by solely an increase in brain serotonin levels.

During this project, you will investigate novel antidepressant mechanisms though the most common glial cell type in the brain called astrocytes. Astrocytes are the primary source of brain lactate that was recently shown to possess antidepressant properties. SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants stimulate astrocytic release of lactate that potentially mediates their therapeutic effects.

As part of this project, you will dissect molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying antidepressants-stimulated lactate release from astrocytes using primary cell and slice cultures, pharmacology, cell metabolic profiling, and molecular biology.

You will be part of a vibrant multidisciplinary research group and Bristol Neuroscience community. You will have a unique chance to receive training in a number of fundamental wet-lab techniques such as cell culture, quantitative real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry and ELISA, and state-of-the-art imaging and flurometric methods aimed to measure uptake, production or release of intracellular messengers and metabolites. You will be encouraged to collaborate with other group members and gain experience in in vivo techniques, present your work at a conference and contribute to publishing a research paper.

Please, do not hesitate to get in touch with me [Email Address Removed] if you would like to further discuss this exciting project.


References

Relevant literature – starter reading:
Magistretti PJ and Allaman I. Nature Review Neuroscience, 2018; doi: 10.1038/nrn.2018.19
Carrard A et al. Molecular Psychiatry, 2016; doi: 10.1038/mp.2016.179
Murphy-Royal C et al. Nature Communications, 2020; doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15778-9

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