RESEARCH – Autophagy-mediated mechanisms of plasticity and stress adaptation

NPY-mediated autophagy and the adaptation of hippocampal circuits to stress (FOR 5228 Jan 2022- Dec 2025)

In our new research unit FOR 5228 Syntophagy we are investigating how presynaptic mechanism of autophagy drive synaptic plasticity. In our subproject we are especially interested in how neuropeptide Y (NPY) may shape plasticity in the hippocampal mossy fiber system and how NPY-positive interneurons regulate their own activity via autophagy. Two receptors for NPY, Y1 and Y2, may be involved in these processes, thereby interacting with different intracellular signaling pathways that can regulate mossy fiber anatomy and physiology. We will also investigate how juvenile stress shapes these processes and, ultimately, also behaviors associated with mossy fiber plasticity.

CBBS Neuronetwork 12: Autophagy mechanisms in stress-induced neuro- and psychopathology (Aug 2017 – Nov 2020)

Together with Anke Müller from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology (IPT) at the Otto-von-Guericke University, Elisa Redavide is exploring how neuropeptides associated with stress adaptation may regulate synaptic function via autophagy.

We could show that the anxiolytic neuropeptide Y (NPY) lastingly upregulates autophagy in the cultured cortical and hippocampal neurons, demonstrated by altered levels of the markers LC3II and p62. We are currently investigating how such a regulation affects plasticity-related molecular targets as well as learning and memory.