Molecular control of hippocampal
mossy fiber-CA3 connectivity

In this research project we are investigating the role of the transcription factor Bcl11b and its downstream molecular pathways in the maintenance of the mossy fiber synapses, the connections between the dentate gyrus and the CA3 region, in the adult hippocampus. Bcl11b has been implicated in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease, ALS and schizophrenia. We have identified C1ql2, a synaptic organizer, as a downstream target of Bcl11b. We are using genetic models, stereotaxic surgeries, molecular biology, biochemistry, histology, imaging, electron microscopy, cell cultures and electrophysiology. The overall aim of this project is to uncover new molecular mechanisms important for the synaptic stability and function of the hippocampus that might be relevant for neurological diseases.

Project Team
Prof. Stefan Britsch (Project Lead)
Artemis Koumoundourou
Luisa Schmid

Related Publications
Simon et al., 2012 EMBO Journal
Simon et al., 2016 Genes, Brain and Behavior
De Bruyckere et al., 2018 Frontiers in Mol.
Koumoundourou et al., 2024 Elife