Homeostatic signaling systems must be tailored to the unique properties of each cell type in the brain. In general, homeostatic signaling systems are based on feedback control, an outline of which is diagrammed below. This simple diagram serves to highlight the many questions that remain unanswered despite our recent progress. Ultimately, homeostatic signaling in the brain is likely to involve many interconnected systems such as this, inclusive of not only feedback but also feedforward signaling, and the incorporation of many reversible and irreversible enzymatic reactions.
Homeostatic Plasticity and the Mechanisms of Disease
If homeostatic signaling is impaired, the nervous system will be
less robust to perturbations including genetic, immunological or
environmental stress. We are actively exploring the intersection of homeostatic signaling with the genetics of both autism and neurodegenerative disease. We are translating our mechanistic advances to search for novel, disease modifying strategies using mice and other models of disease. The broad clinical expertise at UCSF provides an ideal environment for collaboration.
Anatomical illustration by Leonardo da Vinci