“Understanding Cilia-Mediated Autophagy in the Central Nervous System”, Olatz Pampliega, Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, Spain

Speaker: Olatz Pampliega, Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, Spain

Host: Postdocs BioMed X


As most cell types in the body, neurons and astrocytes in the CNS possess a primary cilium that responds to extracellular events, such as hormones and neurotrophic factors, which in turn are able to modulate autophagy. The laboratory of Dr. Pampliega studies the mechanisms that govern the interactions between autophagy and the primary cilium in neurons and astrocytes, as well as the interplay between these two cell types.

In this seminar, Dr. Pampliega will present data showing that neuronal cilia mediate the autophagic response in neurons in response to an acute amyloid beta overload. Moreover, using mice lacking neuronal cilia, the Pampliega group have observed that cilia mediated autophagy is differentially modulated in males and females, and that this is an age-dependent event.

More recently, they have become interested in deciphering if, in addition to neuronal cilia, the astrocytic cilium also plays a role in sensing extracellular amyloid beta, and if it exists a coordinated response of these two cell types through their primary cilium.

Overall, the Pampliega group aim to understand the role of the primary cilium in the adult central nervous system, as well as its role in modulating autophagy in pathophysiological conditions.

About Olatz

Through her career, Olatz Pampliega has been interested in research related to biomedicine and cell biology, with emphasis in neurodegenerative diseases.

She graduated in Biology (specialty Biomedicine) from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and got her PhD in Neurosciences at the University of the Basque Country in 2009. Afterwards she joined the Laboratory of Dr. Ana María Cuervo at Albert Einstein College of Medicine to study the regulation of macroautophagy by nutritional conditions, with emphasis on the primary cilium, a signaling organelle that senses the extracellular environment.

With the aim to combine her knowledge on neuroscience and autophagy, in 2015 she joined the Institute des Maladies Neurodégénératives at Bordeaux where she started exploring the role of neuronal cilia-mediated autophagy in the context of amyloid beta overload.

Since 2018, Olatz Pampliega is a Ramón y Cajal Fellow and a Junior Group Leader at the Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience where she focuses in understanding how neurons and astrocytes might take advantage of the primary cilium to sense extracellular events and transduce them to the intracellular milieu in order to modulate autophagy.