Region- and Time-dependent Astrocytic Regulation of Post-Stroke Plasticity Mechanisms
Astrocytes play various roles during Central Nervous System (CNS) development, one of which is regulating synaptic plasticity mechanisms. Synaptic plasticity is crucial for shaping the proper connectivity in the Central Nervous System (CNS). Different receptors at the synapse, including AMPA receptors (AMPARs), play pivotal roles in synaptic plasticity mechanisms. In response to stroke, AMPAR composition and distribution at the synapse change, impairing plasticity mechanisms and potentially leading to neuronal death.
Astrocytes undergo functional modifications in response to ischemic stroke. In our lab, we are identifying astrocytic proteins which play dual roles in a spatiotemporal-dependent manner after stroke. Through pharmacological or genetic manipulations, we aim to harness the potential of astrocytes to prevent or revert damage from stroke.
Our overarching goal is to find different approaches to target astrocytes to facilitate functional recovery, especially at later time points after the stroke when effective therapies are currently lacking.
To do this, we use a variety of in vitro and in vivo mouse models of ischemic stroke, biochemistry, molecular biology and high-resolution imaging.
Science Communication & Outreach
In the Blanco-Suárez lab, besides science at the bench, we are committed to bring scientific knowledge to the public through different outreach activities. Through writing, public lectures, and student engagement at high schools and middle schools, in English and Spanish, we want to build a strong relationship between scientists and society, and make science available and accessible to everyone.