Prof. Yulong Li: Pushing the frontiers: tools for monitoring neurotransmitters and neuromodulators


    Abstract :

    Neurotransmitters and neuromodulators have a wide range of key roles throughout the nervous system. However, their dynamics in both health and disease have been challenging to assess, owing to the lack of in vivo tools to track them with high spatiotemporal resolution. Thus, developing a platform that enables minimally invasive, large-scale and long-term monitoring of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators with high sensitivity, high molecular specificity and high spatiotemporal resolution has been essential. Here, we review the methods available for monitoring the dynamics of  eurotransmitters and neuromodulators. Following a brief summary of non-genetically encoded methods, we focus on recent developments in genetically encoded fluorescent indicators, highlighting how these novel indicators have facilitated advances in our understanding of the functional roles of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators in the nervous system. These studies present a promising outlook for the future development and use of tools to monitor neurotransmitters and neuromodulators.

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