UCL Division of Biosciences


GEE Friday Seminar - Dr Marion Bonneau, Research Fellow, CLOE

08 April 2022, 3:00 pm–4:00 pm


Title: 'The Importance of nAChR Subunits in Glia Cell'

Event Information

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UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni




Friday Seminar Organising Committee

Abstract: Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are ligand-gated ion channels found in many living organisms. A functional receptor is made of five subunits and can either be homomeric or heteromeric. Genomic analyses have identified 16 and 10 genes that encode nAChR subunits in mammals and Drosophila respectively. Here we ask why so many subunits so exists. Different type of nAChRs have been implicated in human diseases such as Alzheimer’s (α4β2 and α7), Schizophrenia (α7, β2 and β3), and nicotine addiction (α5, α7, β4, and β2), indicating that each subunit may have a specific role. Based on the evolutionary conservation of nAChR sequences across human and fly genomes, we used Drosophila Melanogaster as our animal model. Additionally, we decided to focus our interest on glial cells specifically, as very few studies investigated the importance of those receptors in these cells. Cell-specific RNAi knockdowns were performed to manipulate nAChR subunit expression in glia and the effect of each nAChR subunit knockdown on larvae-to-adult development as well as the response of adults to acute environmental stress, were studied. Here, we discovered possible independent links between specific nAChR subunits and glial cells function. 

About the Speaker

Dr Marion Bonneau

Research Fellow at UCL

More about Dr Marion Bonneau