Cellular Crosstalk in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

27 September 2023,  18:00 - 19:00 Central European Time

Speaker: Silvia Cappell

Cellular crosstalk is an essential process during brain development and it is influenced by numerous factors, including the morphology of the cells, their adhesion molecules, the local extracellular matrix and the secreted vesicles. Inspired by mutations associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, we focus on understanding the role of extracellular mechanisms essential for the correct development of the human brain. Hence, we combine the in vivo mouse model and the in vitro human-derived neurons, cerebral organoids, and dorso-ventral assembloids in order to better comprehend the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in ventral progenitors’ proliferation and fate as well as migration and maturation of inhibitory neurons during human brain development and tackle the causes of neurodevelopmental disorders. We particularly focus on mutations in genes influencing cell-cell contacts, extracellular matrix, and secretion of vesicles and therefore study intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms contributing to the formation of the brain. Our data reveal an important contribution of cell non-autonomous mechanisms in the development of neurodevelopmental disorders.