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    2016 IBRO Neuroscience Cover Competition Winner Announced

    IBRO and Elsevier are pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 IBRO Neuroscience Cover Competition from the article, "Distinct forms of synaptic inhibition and neuromodulation regulate calretinin-positive neuron excitability in the spinal cord dorsal horn" ( K.M. Smith, K.A. Boyle, M. Mustapa, P. Jobling, R.J. Callister, D.I. Hughes, B.A. Graham), published in Volume 326 on 21 June 2016.

    The cover image is taken from Figure 1A of the article and shows the distribution of CR-expressing neurons in the mouse spinal dorsal horn. The CR-IR neurons (green) are most common in laminae I and II of the mouse spinal dorsal horn, and account for approximately 30% of all neurons in these laminae.

    The nuclear stain DAPI (red) and immunolabeling for the selective neuronal marker NeuN (blue) were used to plot the position of all neurons for use in the stereological analysis to determine the proportion of neurons in laminae I and II that express CR (green). CR-IR neurons are marked with an arrowhead.

    The image was projected from 14 optical sections at 1µm z-separation and was produced by one of the article’s student authors, Marami Binti Mustapa, a PhD student in the Spinal Cord Research Group of the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow.

    The lead authors of the article, Brett A. Graham (Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy, University of Newcastle, Australia) and David I. Hughes (Senior Lecturer, Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Glasgow, UK) explained that the research behind the image is the result of highly successful collaborative efforts.

    Dr. Graham’s research team in Australia focuses on mapping nerve cells involved in pain signaling to allow for better treatment while Dr. Hughes’s team in the UK aims to improve understanding of the complex neurocircuitry in the spinal dorsal horn, an area of critical importance in our ability to perceive the sensations of temperature, touch and pain.

    Regarding their joint research and the significance of the article’s cover image, the two lead authors commented:

    “Despite our respective research groups being located at opposite sides of the planet, the Graham and Hughes laboratories enjoy a successful and productive multidisciplinary international collaboration. Our common goal is to dissect neuronal heterogeneity in the spinal dorsal horn and understand how specific subpopulations of neurons contribute to sensory processing.

    In this work, we used targeted patch clamp recordings to assess inhibition and neuromodulation onto two subpopulations of interneurons that both express the calcium binding protein calretinin. Significantly, our study showed that the excitatory population of calretinin-positive interneurons received a mixture of GABAergic and glycinergic input and was also inhibited by noradrenaline and serotonin, but not enkephalins.

    In contrast, the inhibitory population of calretinin positive interneurons received inhibition dominated by glycine and are inhibited by enkephalins, but not noradrenaline or serotonin. The cover image is part of some complimentary work in the publication that quantified the relative abundance of the excitatory and inhibitory calretinin populations in the mouse spinal dorsal horn."

    IBRO and Elsevier congratulate the lead authors and their research teams on their excellent work and winning cover image for 2016. To find out how you can publish in IBRO Neuroscienceclick here.


    Dr. David Hughes and Dr. Brett Graham attending the recent 'World Congress on Pain' hosted by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) in Yokohama, Japan.