I joined the Neural Circuits and Memory Lab as a Visiting Scholar in May of 2016.
I have been interested in the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal-medial prefrontal cortex pathway, since 2006. In my PhD, under Dr. João Leite supervision at the University of São Paulo (USP) – Brazil), I have focused on the underlying mechanisms of the expression of psychiatric comorbidities and cognitive deficits associated with experimental epilepsy condition in rats. More specifically, I have investigated how ketamine (KET) and hippocampal after-discharges (AD) affect oscillatory patterns and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal-prefrontal pathway. In 2013, as part of my Ph.D. project, I was granted by São Paulo Research Foundation to do a research internship abroad at Dr. Marie Carlén´s lab (Karolinska Institutet-Sweden). During my training, I have had the opportunity to optogenetically inquiry the role of parvalbumin-positive interneurons in the prefrontal cortex gamma oscillations.
After graduating, I am now combining optogenetics, extracellular recordings of individual cells, local field potentials and evoked post-synaptic potentials in freely behaving rats (1) to probe the influence of hippocampal sharp-wave ripples on synaptic plasticity and information processing in the CA1-mPFC circuit; (2) to examine how these events modulate memory processing. In collaboration with researchers from the Federal University of ABC, we have implemented a closed-loop strategy to detect SWRs online in CA1 and optogenetically inhibit mPFC principal cells activity to directly test the relevance of the hippocampal-prefrontal pathway for systems memory consolidation.
Selected peer-reviewed publications:
- Lopes-Aguiar, C; Bueno-Junior, L.S.; Ruggiero, R.N.; Romcy-Pereira, R.N.; Leite, J.P. (2013). NMDA receptor blockade impairs the muscarinic conversion of sub-threshold transient depression into long-lasting LTD in the hippocampus-prefrontal cortex pathway in vivo: Correlation with gamma oscillations. Neuropharmacology, 65:143-155.
- Lopes Aguiar, C.; Romcy-Pereira, R. Neves; Escorsim Szawka, R.; Galvis-Alonso, O.Y.; Anselmo-Franci, J.A.; Leite, J.P. (2008). Muscarinic acetylcholine neurotransmission enhances the late-phase of long-term potentiation in the hippocampal prefrontal cortex pathway of rats in vivo: A possible involvement of monoaminergic systems. Neuroscience, 153:1309-1319.
- Lopes-Aguiar, C.; Ávila, M. A. V. ; Oliveira, E. F. ; Pádua, L. V. ; Zacharias, L. R. ; Peres, L. B. ; Moraes, F. A. ; Leite, J. P. . Closed-loop optogenetic strategy in experimental epilepsy: How affordable is the implementation of this emergent technique? Journal of Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology, 2015.
- Wolf, D.C.; Bueno-Júnior, L. S.; Lopes-Aguiar, C.; do Val da Silva R. A.; Kandratavicius, L.; Leite, J. P. The frequency of spontaneous seizures in rats correlates with alterations in sensorimotor gating, spatial working memory, and parvalbumin expression throughout limbic regions. Neuroscience, 2015.
- Bueno-Junior, Lezio Soares ; Lopes-Aguiar, Cleiton ; Ruggiero, Rafael Naime ; Romcy-Pereira, Rodrigo Neves ; Leite, João Pereira . Muscarinic and Nicotinic Modulation of Thalamo-Prefrontal Cortex Synaptic Pasticity In Vivo. Plos One, v. 7, p. e47484, 2012.
- Kandratavicius, L. ; Lopes-Aguiar, C. ; Bueno-Júnior, L.S. ; Romcy-Pereira, R.N. ; Hallack, J.E.C. ; Leite, J.P. . Psychiatric comorbidities in temporal lobe epilepsy: Possible relationships between psychotic disorders and involvement of limbic circuits. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria (São Paulo. 1999. Impresso), v. 34, p. 454-466, 2012.