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Wenbiao Gan, PhD

Skirball Institute

Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology

Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Care, and Pain Medicine

Wenbiao Gan
learning and memory, sleep, synaptic plasticity and stability, microglia, Alzheimer's disease

Wen-Biao Gan, Ph.D. Skirball Institute and Department of Physiology and Neuroscience One of the most important features of the nervous system is its remarkable plasticity during development and in learning and memory. Many lines of evidence indicate that the number and distribution of synapses in many parts of the nervous system change throughout life. Very little is known at present about how changes in synaptic structure take place in living animals. We are studying the mechanisms that regulate structural plasticity of synapses by taking advantage of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) expressing transgenic mice in which synaptic structure are specifically labeled by GFP. Using a confocal microscope, we have recently been able to generate 3-dimensional reconstructions of synapses on individual neurons at the submandibular ganglion and the superior cervical ganglion of living mice. By following synapses of the same neuron over time, we have found that synaptic structure is generally stable over several days but undergoes substantial remodeling over a period of weeks in the mouse submandibular ganglion (Fig.1). The ability to follow individual inter-neuronal synapses in vivo opens a direct window to study many interesting questions such as: How dynamic are synapses once they are formed? How does neuronal activity modulate synaptic structure? How does change in synaptic structure occur as a function of age? We are currently addressing these questions using high-resolution in vivo confocal imaging, electron microscopy and molecular approaches. In addition to study neural plasticity in the peripheral nervous system, we have recently developed a technique for rapid labeling of a large number of neurons with many different colors (Fig.2). Using this technique, we are planning to study structural plasticity of neuronal circuits in the central nervous system.



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Zhou, Yanmei; Lai, Cora Sau Wan; Bai, Yang; Li, Wei; Zhao, Ruohe; Yang, Guang; Frank, Marcos G; Gan, Wen-Biao

Nature communications. 2020 09 23; 11(1):4819

Cheng, Zongyue; Jiang, Hehai; Gan, Wenbiao; Cui, Meng

Optics express. 2020 Aug 31; 28(18):26407-26413

Lin, Jianian; Cheng, Zongyue; Gan, Wenbiao; Cui, Meng

Optics express. 2020 Aug 31; 28(18):26414-26420

Wang, Chenmao; Cheng, Zongyue; Gan, Wenbiao; Cui, Meng

Optics express. 2020 Aug 31; 28(18):26717-26723

Tu, Mengyu; Zhao, Ruohe; Adler, Avital; Gan, Wen-Biao; Chen, Zhe S

Neural computation. 2020 Jun; 32(6):1144-1167

Cichon, Joseph; Magrané, Jordi; Shtridler, Elina; Chen, Chao; Sun, Linlin; Yang, Guang; Gan, Wen-Biao

Journal of neuroscience methods. 2020 Jan 20; 108535

Cheng, Zongyue; Sun, Shiyi; Gan, Wenbiao; Cui, Meng

Optics express. 2020 Jan 20; 28(2):2326-2336

Lin, Yuan; Li, Lin-Lin; Nie, Wei; Liu, Xiaolei; Adler, Avital; Xiao, Chi; Lu, Fujian; Wang, Liping; Han, Hua; Wang, Xianhua; Gan, Wen-Biao; Cheng, Heping

Nature communications. 2019 Nov 21; 10(1):5277