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Carlos Portera-Cailliau

Carlos Portera-Cailliau's laboratory is investigating how cortical circuits are assembled during development. Critical questions in the laboratory include: a) How do cortical neurons recognize each other as appropriate synaptic partners? b) How does activity emerge within immature networks of cortical neurons? c) What are the circuit defects that lead to sensory processing deficits in autism (e.g., fragile X syndrome)? The laboratory addresses these and other related questions about cortical development and plasticity using 2-photon microscopy of living cortical neurons. Their research employs a variety of techniques ranging from electrophysiology to calcium imaging in awake-behaving mice. This research is particularly relevant to neuropsychiatric disorders that lack distinct neuropathological features, and could therefore be caused by subtle changes in synapses or neuronal activity that create dysfunctional cortical circuits. These disorders include autism, intellectual disability, epilepsy and schizophrenia. Investigating the mechanisms of synapse formation and axon pruning may identify novel molecular targets that can be exploited for therapeutic purposes in these devastating disorders.

Recent Publications
Contractor A, VA Klyachko, and C Portera-Cailliau (2015). Altered neuronal and circuit excitability in Fragile X syndrome. Neuron, 87:699-715

Miquelajauregui A, S Kribakaran, R Mostany, A Badaloni, G Consalez and C Portera-Cailliau (2015). Layer 4 pyramidal neurons exhibit robust dendritic spine plasticity in vivo after input deprivation. J Neurosci, 35:7287-94

Gonçalves JT, Anstey J, Golshani P, Portera-Cailliau C (2013). Circuit level defects in the developing neocortex of fragile X mice. Nature Neurosci, 16:903-9

Mostany R, Anstey JA, Crump KL, Maco B, Knott G, Portera-Cailliau C (2013). Altered synaptic dynamics during normal brain aging. J Neurosci, 33:4094-104

He CX, Portera-Cailliau C.The trouble with spines in fragile X syndrome: density, maturity and plasticity (2012). Neuroscience, 251:120-8

Cheng A, Gonçalves JT, Golshani P, Arisaka K, Portera-Cailliau C (2011). Simultaneous two-photon calcium imaging at different depths with spatiotemporal multiplexing. Nat Methods. 8:139-42

Cruz-Martin A, Crespo M, Portera-Cailliau C. Delayed stabilization of dendritic spines in fragile X mice (2010). J Neurosci, 30:7793-803

Holtmaat A, T Bonhoeffer, D. Chow, J Chuckowree, V De Paola, SB Hofer, M Hubener, T Keck, WCA Lee, G Knott, W-C A Lee, R Mostany, TD Mrsic-Flogel, E Nedivi, C Portera-Cailliau, K Svoboda, J Trachtenberg, L Wilbrecht (2009). Long-term high resolution imaging in the mouse neocortex through a chronic cranial window. Nature Protocols 4(8):1128-44