Date 2016-04-19 

The Spring Semester Seminar

■ Topic : Shining light on depressed brain: optogenetic rescue of depression in mice

■ Speaker : Prof. Daesoo Kim, (Dept. of Biological Sciences, KAIST)

■ Invitation : Prof. Keon Jae Lee

■ Date & Time : April 19 (Tue), 16:00

■ Venue : KAIST Applied Engineering B/D(W1), Multimedia Lecture Hall (1st Floor)

■ Abstract : In brain disorders, the functional alteration of neural circuits leads to emotional and behavioral symptoms that afflicts patients. Patients with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) show activity asymmetry between the two hemispheres of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). However, how the hemispheric activity asymmetry cause emotional disorders remains unclear. Here, we have revealed that the hemispheric asymmetry of mPFC is found in stressed mice that show depression-like behaviors. Their left hemisphere is depressed as measured by decreased neuronal firing. When the left mPFC is optically stimulated, their depression-like behaviors disappear. In resilient mice that show normal behaviors, the photoinhibition of left mPFC induce depression-like behaviors. From the analysis of microarray data in each mPFC hemispheres, we discovered that the genetic changes in the left cortices determines the adaptive behavior upon social defeat stress. Evidenced together with the neural activity, we conclude that the left mPFC plays a critical role in emotional change by stress and this signals hope that we can cure depression by modulating neural circuits using lights.