Bolam Group

Objective

The overall objective of this project is to provide a new level of understanding of the principles of operation of the neuronal networks that constitute the basal ganglia by anatomical and combined quantitative anatomical and physiological approaches. The new knowledge provides a basis for understanding how cortical excitation of the basal ganglia is transformed into phasic inhibitory output signals and for understanding the role of the indirect network in the expression of basal ganglia function.

 

Methodology

We:

  1. define the roles of GABA interneurones in the neostriatum
  2. elucidate the synaptic organisation of the globus pallidus
  3. elucidate the synaptic targets of dopamine neurones in the substantia nigra
  4. characterise the functional properties of the indirect network in relation to cortical inputs and the output nuclei
  5. identify sites of drug action in the basal ganglia by the localisation of receptors and vi) provide insights into basal ganglia disorders by analysis of animal models of Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease.
Labelling for the metabotropic glutamate receptor, mGluR1a (red) and tyrosine hydroxylase (green) in the substantia nigra. By Tracey Chatha.
Confocal micrograph showing immunolabelling for tyrosine hydroxylase (green) and neurobiotin (red). By Matthew Brown
Light micrograph showing an unstained neuronal cell body in the subthalmic nucleus surrounded by putative axonal boutons from the ventral pallidum (blue- Nickel-DAB peroxidase reaction product), and from the globus pallidus (brown- DAB peroxidase reaction product)