Functional properties of fast spiking GABAergic interneurons in thehippocampal network.Prof. Peter Jonas, Institute of Science and Technology (IST), Vienna, Austria.
Prof. Jonas' Lecture focused on two aspects constantly present in Prof. Smith's scientific thinking and production: exocytosis and GABAergic cells. In his Lecture, the speaker illustrated the mechanisms underlying release of the neurotransmitter GABA by parvalbumin-expressing interneurons of the rat hippocampus. At these synapses, the "nanodomain" coupling between calcium channels and calcium sensors promotes fast and efficient transmitter release. Furthermore, an unexpected small number of calcium channels trigger transmitter release. Finally, GABA released by these interneurons is rapid and highly synchronised. Combined these factors ensure that parvalbumin-expressing GABAergic cells operate with high speed and temporal precision.
The Lecture was set up to celebrate the vision of the previous Chair ofPharmacology Prof. A. David Smith, Honorary Associate Director and founderof the Unit, and the successful conclusion of the latest quinquennialscientific review of the Unit.
To commemorate the Lecture, Prof. Jonas received a laser engraved cherrywood plaque, designed by Unit Artist Ben Micklem and illustrating aspectsof anatomical neuropharmacology at Oxford from molecules to the brain.