Excitatory-Inhibitory balance: the role of GABA synapse diversity

October 10 - 11, 2019

Basel (Switzerland)


Neuronal computations in the brain critically depend on a balanced activation of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission (E-I balance). An E-I imbalance is believed to underlie a range of neurological disorders including epilepsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and Down Syndrome. Yet, the concept of E-I balance seems to be too general to explain the etiological differences between these disorders.

Recent research clearly demonstrates that GABAergic synaptic inputs are not only distributed over often extensive dendritic trees but that they have very diverse properties depending on both, the pre- and postsynaptic partners. While some GABA synapses exert direct influence over the action potential output of neurons, the influence of other more remotely located inputs is only apparent during specific activity states. This suggests that different sets of GABAergic inputs are probably tailored to the specific needs for the computational role they play in the respective cellular compartments. The symposium will summarize the current state of knowledge about specific subsets of GABAergic synapses and discuss the implications for the concept of E-I balance in health and disease.


October 10th

10:30 Registration and coffee

11:00-11h10 Welcome note (Josef Bischofberger)

Session 1

Chair: Josef Bischofberger

11:10-11:50    Jan Schulz (University of Basel), Synapse specific regulation of dendritic integration by distinct GABA receptor subunits

11:50-12:30    Claudio Elgueta (University of Freiburg), E-I balance in dendritic integration of fast-spiking interneurons of the dentate gyrus

12:30-13:30     Lunch Break

Session 2

Chair:  Jan Schulz

13:30-14:10    Johannes Letzkus (Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt), Encoding of top-down information in mouse and human neocortex

14:10-14:50    Tania Barkat (University of Basel), Critical periods for plasticity in the developing auditory cortex – the role of excitation/inhibition imbalance

14:50-15:30    Sabine Krabbe (Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel), Disinhibitory Amygdala Circuits for Associative Learning

15:30:16:00     Coffee Break

Session 3

Chair:  Ute Häussler

16:00-16:40    Javier Zorilla De San Martin (Institut Du Cerveau Et De La Moëlle Epinière, Paris), Circuit specific alterations of inhibition in a mouse model of Down Syndrome

16:40-17:20    Jonas Sauer (University of Freiburg), Disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 is required for prefrontal GABAergic function

17:20-18:00    Fabrice Ango (Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle, Montpellier), Excitatory granule neuron progenitors orchestrate laminar localization and differentiation of inhibitory interneuron subtype in cerebellum

Speaker’s Dinner

 October 11th

Session 4

Chair: Maria-Clemencia Hernandez

10:00-10:40    Bernhard Bettler (University of Basel), Cell-specific regulation of synaptic inhibition by multi-protein GABAB receptor complexes

10:40-11:20    Elisabetta Furlanis (University of Basel), Cell Type-Specific Alternative Splicing Programs for Neuronal Specification 

11:20-12:00    Eric Allemand (Institut Pasteur, Paris), Alternative splicing of Gephyrin defines a code for inhibitory synapse diversity


12:00-12:50     Lunch break


Session 5

Chair: Ute Häussler

12:50-13:30    Maria-Clemencia Hernandez (F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Basel), Translational research in Dup15q syndrome: Role of GABAA a5 subunit-containing receptors

13:30-14:10    Véronique Brault (Université de Strasbourg), Interneurons in Down syndrome neurobiology from PTZ to Dyrk1a

14:10-14:30     Concluding Remarks



Oct 10, 2019 (10h30) to Oct 11, 2019 (14h30)

Museum Kleines Klingental, Unterer Rheinweg 26, Basel



Registration Deadline: Oct 3rd, 2019

Neurex workshops are part of the cycle B5 of the University of Basel. They allow students to gain Credit Points from attending workshops/meetings.

This specific workshop will give rise to the attribution of 1 CP.

Important: Full rules & how to proceed available here.