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The Art in Science

Product Image Chandeliers in the Brain

Chandeliers in the Brain

Bing Ye, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Research Associate Professor, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan Medical School 

This beautiful neuron is called a "chandelier cell", because its shape calls to mind an elaborate chandelier in a grand ballroom. This type of neuron is known to inhibit brain activity in mammals. In this image, a single chandelier cell in a mouse brain is visualized using a genetic technique that allows sparse labeling of these cells with fluorescent proteins. Interestingly, it is now clear that the shape of chandelier neurons is altered in disorders such as schizophrenia and Down’s syndrome. Our goal now is to directly manipulate these cells to explore how they communicate with and control the activity of surrounding neurons.