Roberto Araya

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The dihydropyridine receptor (DHPR), normally a voltage-dependent calcium channel, functions in skeletal muscle essentially as a voltage sensor, triggering intracellular calcium release for excitation-contraction coupling. In addition to this fast calcium release, via ryanodine receptor (RYR) channels, depolarization of skeletal myotubes evokes slow calcium(More)
The molecular mechanisms regulating skeletal muscle regeneration and differentiation are not well understood. We analyzed the expression of connexins (Cxs) 40, 43 and 45 in normal and regenerating tibialis anterior muscle and in primary cultures of differentiating myoblasts in adult and newborn mice, respectively. Cxs 45 and 43, but not 40, were strongly(More)
We analyzed the expression of connexin(Cx)43 in proliferating and differentiating C(2)C(12) cells and in myoblasts obtained from newborn mice. Cx43 was present in both cell types and under both conditions. The functional role of gap junctional communication (GJC) during terminal differentiation was evaluated in C(2)C(12) myoblasts in the presence or absence(More)
Laser microscopy has generally poor temporal resolution, caused by the serial scanning of each pixel. This is a significant problem for imaging or optically manipulating neural circuits, since neuronal activity is fast. To help surmount this limitation, we have developed a "scanless" microscope that does not contain mechanically moving parts. This(More)
Dendritic spines mediate most excitatory synapses in the brain. Past theoretical work and recent experimental evidence have suggested that spines could contain sodium channels. We tested this by measuring the effect of the sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX) on depolarizations generated by two-photon uncaging of glutamate on spines from mouse(More)
Dendritic spines receive most synaptic inputs in the forebrain. Their morphology, with a spine head isolated from the dendrite by a slender neck, indicates a potential role in isolating inputs. Indeed, biochemical compartmentalization occurs at spine heads because of the diffusional bottleneck created by the spine neck. Here we investigate whether the spine(More)
We describe neurobiological applications of RuBi-Glutamate, a novel caged-glutamate compound based on ruthenium photochemistry. RuBi-Glutamate can be excited with visible wavelengths and releases glutamate after one- or two-photon excitation. It has high quantum efficiency and can be used at low concentrations, partly avoiding the blockade of GABAergic(More)
In mammalian cortex, most excitatory inputs occur on dendritic spines, avoiding dendritic shafts. Although spines biochemically isolate inputs, nonspiny neurons can also implement biochemical compartmentalization; so, it is possible that spines have an additional function. We have recently shown that the spine neck can filter membrane potentials going into(More)
Most excitatory inputs in the mammalian brain are made on dendritic spines, rather than on dendritic shafts. Spines compartmentalize calcium, and this biochemical isolation can underlie input-specific synaptic plasticity, providing a raison d'etre for spines. However, recent results indicate that the spine can experience a membrane potential different from(More)