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The major focus of my research centers around synaptic mechanisms of learning and memory. Specifically, to elucidate the regulation of glutamate receptor mediated synaptic transmission in animal models of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and diabetes, and the use of experimental drugs to ameliorate the synaptic dysfunction and associated neuro-behavioral deficits in these disease states.
We use variety of electrophysiology techniques such as single channel recording, whole cell patch clamp methodology using acutely isolated and organotypic hippocampal slices, synaptic plasticity measurements (LTP/LTD - vitro and in vivo), neuro-behavioral techniques and bioche mical assays (protein/gene expression, immunohistochemistry) to address how changes in single receptor channel function in the synapse will alter cellular and regional functions in the brain and thereby modify the behavior of the animal. In addition, we also study the molecular mechanisms of synaptic and behavioral deficits associated with prenatal alcohol and nicotine exposure.
Our laboratory was the first to develop a unique methodology to directly measure single channel properties of glutamate (AMPA/NMDA) receptors located in the synapse (Suppiramaniam et l., 2006). We utilize this methodology to elucidate the functionality of single ion channel in the synapse in certain neurological diseases and the effect of specific drugs that can ameliorate the functional deficits in these pathological conditions.
Parameshwaran, K., Dhanasekaran, M., and Suppiramaniam V. Amyloid beta peptide and glutamatergic synaptic dysregulation. Exp Neurol. 2008 Mar; 210(1): 7-13
Kanju, P.M., Parameshwaran, K., Sims, C., Bahr, B.A., Shonesy, B.C. and Suppiramaniam V. Ampakine CX516 ameliorates functional deficits in AMPA receptor in a hippocampal slice model of protein accumulation Exp Neurol. 2008 Jul 18. [Epub ahead of print]
Wijayawardhane, N., Shonesy, B.C., Vaithianathan, T., Pandiella, N., Vaglenova, J., Breese, C.R., Dityatev, A. and Suppiramaniam V. Ameliorating effects of preadolescent aniracetam treatment on the prenatal ethanol-induced impairment in AMPA receptor activity. Neurobiol. Dis. 2008 Jan; 29(1): 81-91.