ELSC Seminar: December 19th

ELSC cordially invites you to the lecture given by:


Dr. Meital Oren-Suissa

Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science


On the topic of:

“Sexually dimorphic neuronal circuits- from genes to synapses and behavior”


In sexually reproducing species, males and females respond to environmental sensory cues and transform the input into sexually dimorphic traits. These dimorphisms are the basis for sex-biased phenotypes in many neurological diseases. Yet, complete understanding of the underlying mechanism is still missing. How does the sexual identity impose molecular changes to individual neurons and circuits? What are the sex-specific synaptic changes that occur during development in these circuits? New findings reveal a significant difference in the way the two sexes in the nematode C. elegans respond to aversive stimuli. Further analysis of the function of the circuit for aversive behaviors unveiled how stimuli elicit non-dimorphic sensory neuronal activity, proceeded by dimorphic postsynaptic interneuron activity, generating the sexually dimorphic behavior. We explore the circuit at the behavioral, connectome and genetic levels. In addition, we demonstrate the involvement of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) in sex-specific synapse pruning, and discuss how the sexual identity intersects with signaling pathways to confer spatial and temporal specificity for synapse elimination.