Glial function in neurodegeneration

Although Notch receptors have been extensively studied during development, their role in the adult has not been well characterized. We have recently discovered a novel role for the Notch2 receptor in the adult olfactory epithelium. Notch2 is expressed in glial cells of the epithelium. In mutants, these glia gradually lose aspects of normal function. As the primary role of glia is to support the survival of neurons, this leads to progressive neurodegeneration of the underlying olfactory sensory neurons. We are exploring how Notch receptors act to maintain glial function in the olfactory epithelium, and the interplay between glia and neuronal survival. Read more here.