Investigating the role of PLN in Brain and Behavior

Investigating the role of PLN in Brain and Behavior



Ben Klocke


Presentation: 1:20-1:40, LTC Forum



Intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis is critical for a wide range of cellular processes in neurons. As such, dysregulation of Ca2+ homeostasis has been implicated in many neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, including bipolar, schizophrenia, and autism. Given the importance of proper Ca2+ handling, neurons have evolved a diverse Ca2+-handling “toolkit” to tightly regulate the trafficking of Ca2+ throughout cellular and subcellular compartments such as endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which functions as a key intracellular Ca2+ storage unit. One critical ER Ca2+ regulatory protein is the sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATP-ase (SERCA2), which pumps Ca2+ ions into the ER lumen and is vital to proper Ca2+ homeostasis in not only neurons, but in all mammalian cell types. Interestingly, studies from our lab have exposed phospholamban (PLN), a SERCA2 regulator previously thought to have a largely cardiac-specific function, to be expressed in the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) of the mouse brain. Using a constitutive global PLN knockout mouse model, we found that PLN plays an important role in regulating locomotor activity; we then developed and employed a novel TRN-specific conditional knockout mouse model to investigate the role of PLN in TRN-dependent behaviors such as sleep and executive functioning. Overall, these findings provide the first evidence that PLN plays a role in the brain and advances our knowledge on the role of TRN in the regulating of brain and behavior.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Pothitos Pitychoutis

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals


Investigating the role of PLN in Brain and Behavior