Department of Biology

Gina Turrigiano

Gina Turrigiano, Biology faculty member, Brandeis UniversityJoseph Levitan Professor of Vision Science

Research Description

Homeostasis and Neural Circuit Plasticity and Function

Turrigiano research image-Demo max intensity projectionThe Turrigiano lab studies the plasticity mechanisms that allow our brains to “tune themselves up” and remain both plastic and stable. Over the last two decades we uncovered a family of “homeostatic” plasticity mechanisms, including Synaptic Scaling, that allow neurons to adjust their excitability to maintain constant firing rates in the face of outside perturbations.

More recently we have been probing the role of homeostatic plasticity in the experience-dependent development of the neocortex. We are specially interested in understanding how homeostatic mechanisms interact with classical forms of synaptic plasticity such as LTP/LTD to allow experience-dependent circuit refinement and learning, and in the role of sleep and other behavioral states in gating these forms of plasticity.

Selected Publications

  • Sleep Promotes Downward Firing Rate Homeostasis. Torrado Pacheco A, Bottorff J, Gao Y, Turrigiano GG. Neuron. 2021 Feb 3;109(3):530-544.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.11.001. 
  • Activity labeling in vivo using CaMPARI2 reveals intrinsic and synaptic differences between neurons with high and low firing rate set points. Trojanowski NF, Bottorff J, Turrigiano GG. Neuron. 2021 Feb 17;109(4):663-676.e5
  • Homeostatic synaptic scaling establishes the specificity of an associative memory. Wu CH, Ramos R, Katz DB, Turrigiano GG. Curr Biol. 2021 Jun 7;31(11):2274-2285.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.024. 
  • Stability of neocortical synapses across sleep and wake states during the critical period in rats. Cary BA, Turrigiano GG. Elife. 2021 Jun 21;10:e66304. doi: 10.7554/eLife.66304.
  • Ciliary neuropeptidergic signaling dynamically regulates excitatory synapses in postnatal neocortical pyramidal neurons. Tereshko L, Gao Y, Cary BA, Turrigiano GG, Sengupta P. Elife. 2021 Mar 2;10:e65427. doi: 10.7554/eLife.65427.
  • Autism-Associated Shank3 Is Essential for Homeostatic Compensation in Rodent V1. Tatavarty V, Torrado Pacheco A, Groves Kuhnle C, Lin H, Koundinya P, Miska NJ, Hengen KB, Wagner FF, Van Hooser SD, Turrigiano GG. Neuron. 2020 Jun 3;106(5):769-777.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.02.033. 
  • Cortical Circuit Dynamics Are Homeostatically Tuned to Criticality In Vivo. Ma Z, Turrigiano GG, Wessel R, Hengen KB. Neuron. 2019 Nov 20;104(4):655-664.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.08.031. Epub 2019 Oct 7.
  • Improved methods for marking active neuron populations. Moeyaert B, Holt G, Madangopal R, Perez-Alvarez A, Fearey BC, Trojanowski NF, Ledderose J, Zolnik TA, Das A, Patel D, Brown TA, Sachdev RNS, Eickholt BJ, Larkum ME, Turrigiano GG, Dana H, Gee CE, Oertner TG, Hope BT, Schreiter ER. Nat Commun. 2018 Oct 25;9(1):4440. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06935-2.
  • Sensory experience inversely regulates feedforward and feedback excitation-inhibition ratio in rodent visual cortex. Miska NJ, Richter LM, Cary BA, Gjorgjieva J, Turrigiano GG. Elife. 2018 Oct 12;7:e38846. doi: 10.7554/eLife.38846.
  • The dialectic of Hebb and homeostasis. Turrigiano GG. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2017 Mar 5;372(1715):20160258. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2016.0258.
  • Neuronal firing rate homeostasis is inhibited by sleep and promoted by active wake. Hengen KB, Torredo Pacheco A, McGregor J, Van Hooser S, and Turrigiano GG (2016)  Cell 165(1): 180-191. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.01.046

  • Activity-dependent Synaptic GRIP1 Accumulation Drives Synaptic Scaling Up in Response to Action Potential Blockade. Gainey M, Tatavarty V, Nahmani M, Lin H, and Turrigiano GG (2015)  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112(27): E3590-3599

  • Firing Rate Homeostasis in Visual Cortex of Freely Behaving Rodents. Hengen KB, Lambo ME, Van Hooser S, Katz DB, and Turrigiano GG. (2013)  Neuron 80(2): 335-342.

  • Rapid synaptic scaling induced by changes in postsynaptic firing. Ibata K, Sun Q, and Turrigiano GG. (2008) Neuron. 2008 Mar 27;57(6):819-26.

  • The self-tuning neuron: synaptic scaling of excitatory synapses. Turrigiano G (2008) Cell. 2008 Oct 31;135(3):422-35.

  • Turrigiano, G.G., Nelson, S.B. (2004) Homeostatic Plasticity in the Developing Nervous System. Nature Reviews Neurosci. 5:97-10.
  • Activity-dependent scaling of quantal amplitude in neocortical neurons. Turrigiano GG, Leslie KR, Desai NS, Rutherford LC, and Nelson SB (1998) Nature 391:892-895.

For full list of publications visit the Turrigiano lab website.