Jaime Grutzendler MD
Associate Professor of Neurology and of Neurobiology; Director, Yale Center for Experimental Neuroimaging (YCEN)
Two-photon microscopy; Neurodegeneration; Alzheimer's; Blood-brain barrier; Microvasculature; Synapses; Neuroinflammation; Microglia; Astrocyte; Endothelium, myelin
The overall interest of our laboratory centers around cells in the so called "neurovascular unit" (neurons, endothelium, astrocytes, pericytes and microglia). We aim at learning about the dynamic properties of these cells and how cell-cell interactions are disrupted in brain injury, vascular and neurodegenerative pathologies. Experiments in the laboratory involve mouse models of various cerebral disorders including microvascular injury and Alzheimer's disease. The majority of projects in the laboratory are imaging-oriented. We use a variety of techniques including transcranial in vivo two photon microscopy, high-resolution confocal and electron microscopy in combination with differential fluorescent cell labeling and genetic/pharmacological manipulations.
Extensive Research Description
- We develop strategies using two-photon microscopy (TPM) and confocal microscopy to repeatedly image individual neurons, dendritic spines, microglia, astrocytes, blood vessels and myelin over periods of up to months in the brain of living mice in the context of injury and degenerative pathologies.
- We are interested in understanding the dynamics of various neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. Specifically we are interested in the interactions between microglia, neurons and amyloid plaques to determine the potential role of microglia in plaque formation, removal and secondary neuronal injury
- Vascular mechanisms of neuronal circuit disruption: we are interested in understanding how neurons and astrocytes adapt to metabolic challenges such as chronic focal and global hypoperfusion and hypoxia. We also investigate mechanisms of microvascular recanalization and angioplasticity after cerebral embolic occlusion. Specifically, we have recently described a previously unrecognized mechanism of microvascular plasticity which leads to vessel recanalization. We are currently investigating the molecular control and physiological relevance of this novel mechanism.