Center For Glial-Neuronal Interactions


Why Focus on Glial-Neuronal Interactions in CNS Health and Disease?

Brain and spinal cord function depends not only on neurons, but on glia. Glia are the non-neuronal elements of the central nervous system (CNS) and comprise approximately 90 percent of the cells within the CNS.

healthy interactions: activated microglia from adult murine CNS (green) intertwine with developing embryonic hippocampal neurons (red) with no detrimental effects

The advent of high resolution in vivo imaging has revealed that glia are constantly active in the healthy CNS. Genetic, molecular and epidemiologic studies have also revealed the prominent and often causative roles these cells can play in the pathogenesis of many common neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders including:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Autism-spectrum disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Huntington's disease
  • Ischemia (stroke)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (concussions)

Glial interactions with neurons also play critical roles in loss of function caused by spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. CGNI investigators are revealing routes and consequences of glial-neuronal interactions aimed at identifying risk factors as well as therapies for CNS disease and dysfunction.


CGNI Meetings

The Center for Glial-Neuronal Interactions hold regular meetings on the second Friday of each month from 3 to 5 p.m. in Room 1670 of the School of Medicine Education Building. For more information, please contact biomedsci@medschool.ucr.edu.

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