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Title: The role of presynaptic mitochondria in neuronal transmission and plasticity
Author: Vaccaro, V.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 0526
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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Mitochondria are essential for cellular processes such as energy provision and Ca2 + buffering. Due to the highly polarized architecture of neurons, the positioning of mitochondria to areas of high activity is crucial for normal neuronal function. It has previously been shown that mitochondria are trafficked dependent upon neuronal activity. In this thesis, the role of mitochondria at the presynaptic terminal is investigated in order to determine whether the presence of mitochondria in turn influences neuronal transmission. Dual-colour live imaging reveals that terminals occupied by a mitochondrion show lower Ca2 + responses and that transmitter release is reduced. Furthermore, evidence for a role of activity-dependent positioning of mitochondria in homeostatic plasticity is shown, which is dependent upon the function of the Ca2 + -sensitive mitochondrial protein Miro1. Furthermore, the role of Miro1 in positioning mitochondria at presynaptic terminals is investigated in a knockout mouse system. This shows that calcium buffering seems to be changed in the Miro1 knockout neurons and that activity-dependent positioning of mitochondria to presynaptic terminals is affected. Taken together, this thesis examines the functions of mitochondria in the presynaptic terminal and sheds light on how their presence in the terminal may be regulated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available