About 75% of the 100 trillion synaptic connections in the mammalian brain use glutamate-gated ion channels to evoke EPSCs in the postsynaptic cell and human synapses can faithfully follow presynaptic firing at rates of hundreds of action potentials per second. Our lab uses a combination of fast, piezoelectric-controlled, glutamate application to outside-out membrane patches and analysis of data from single receptor molecules to mimic synaptic transmission and study the kinetics of iGluRs. At present, we are especially interested in how receptor properties shape synaptic responses to high-frequency repetitive stimulation.
James R Howe, PhD
Professor of Pharmacology