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Lecture "Parvalbumin interneurons: A hothouse flower in the brain?"

Parvalbumin interneurons (PVIs) in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus are best known for their indispensable role in the generation of brain rhythms, particularly in the gamma and theta range, supporting learning and memory processes. The increased metabolism of PVIs associated with their fast-spiking properties also makes them highly vulnerable, and their dysfunction is found in numerous neuropsychiatric diseases. During the lecture, special attention will be given to the aberrant function of PVIs in schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. The employment of chemogenetic or optogenetic approaches has been found to be an efficient tool for restoring the function of PVIs in animal models. In addition, the role of perineuronal nets, a protective shield of extracellular matrix enwrapping (predominantly) PVIs will be discussed.

Jan Svoboda is the deputy head of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology of Memory. His research has shifted from primarily investigating spatial navigation to a broader area encompassing rodent models of Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, with a focus on behavioral flexibility and social behavior.