This newly established facility aims to achieve a circuit-level understanding of neuronal mechanisms that underlie behavioral and metabolic changes during aging.
Recordings of neuronal activity in hypothalamic circuits during metabolic and behavioral phenotyping will allow us to better decipher the functional role of specific cell groups and neuronal circuits in key processes involved in aging and the onset of age-associated diseases.
Analysis of collective and single-cell calcium activity dynamics of defined cell populations and their projections to other brain regions using deep-brain calcium imaging, as well as selective manipulations of defined cell populations and their projections with high temporal precision using optogenetics, will enable us to investigate and manipulate neuronal activity of defined neuronal types triggered during various behavioral states and during various pathological conditions.
To analyze these high throughput data sets, we will set up the unified database and arrange an organized library of custom scripts for all experiments performed within the facility. This integrated data management approach will enable not only fast and unified data analysis, but also the coordination of custom analysis software coding when needed. This will enable CECAD PIs to gain new and profound insights into the causal role of defined cell populations, neuronal circuits, and neuronal dynamics in aging.