National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning
School of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Beijing Normal University

Laboratory of Neural 
Network Function

School of Brain and 
Cognitive Sciences
Beijing Normal University

19 Xinjiekou Outer Street, 
Haidian District,
Beijing 100875
P.R. China

Lab Head: Yousheng Shu 


Beijing Normal University

Graduate School of 
Beijing Normal University

National Key Laboratory of 
Cognitive Neuroscience and 

  • Welcome to Yousheng Shu Lab

  • We study the axon physiology, the role of axonal ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors in regulating neuronal signaling, and the generation of network activity at different behavior states. In addition, we investigate the changes of channel property, synaptic strength and network activity pattern in diseased brain, and seek for efficient treatment for brain disorders, such as epilepsy, depression,and mental retardation. For more...
  • Selected publications:

We performed dual whole-cell recordings from pyramidal cells (PCs) and nearby inhibitory interneurons in layer 5 of rodent neocortical slices. We found asynchronous release (AR) of glutamate occurs at PC output synapses onto Martinotti cells (MCs), causing desynchronized and prolonged firing in MCs and thus imprecise and long-lasting inhibition in neighboring PCs. These results highlight the effect of glutamate AR on the operation of microcircuits mediating slow recurrent inhibition, an important mechanism for controlling the timing and size of cortical inhibition. Deng et al., 2020 Neuron.

We performed 2-photon axotomy during simultaneous soma-axon recordings to isolate autaptic responses in neocortical pyramidal cells (PCs). We found that autapses (self-synapses) selectively form in subcortically projecting PCs and promote their burst firing by producing giant AMPA-only aEPSCs. Yin, Zheng, Ke, He et al., 2018 Nature Communications.
Activation of 5-HT1A receptors selectively inhibits Na+ channel subtype Nav1.2 but not Nav1.6, thus could decrease the success rate of action potential backpropagation toward the somatodendritic compartments, enhancing the segregation of axonal and dendritic activities. Yin et al., 2015 Cerebral Cortex

Our whole-cell recordings from human and monkey cortical slices reveal a distinct subpopulation of inhibitory interneuron with intrinsic persistent activity. Weak stimuli can turn on the persistent activity; however, strong stimuli can turn it off. This type of neuron could not be found in rodent cortical tissues, suggesting it could be unique to primates. This study is a good start to characterize cell types in human tissue with distinct physiological properties. Wang et al., 2015 Cell Reports

We performed patch-clamp recording from axon blebs of cortical inhibitory interneurons (PV and SST cells).  Differences in voltage dependence of their AIS Na+ channels result from distinct distribution patterns of channel subtypes. Surprisingly, Nav1.2 is expressed by SST cells. Li et al., 2014 PLoS Biology.

Immunostaining of Na+ channel subtypes in human cortical tissue. We found segregated distribution of proximal-Nav1.2 and distal-Nav1.6 at PC AIS. In addition to Nav1.6, the nodes of Ranvier in adult human cortex also express Nav1.2. We found no immunosignal of Nav1.1 at PC AIS. Tian et al.,2014 Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.

  • We found that Na+ channel subtype Nav1.6 determines action potential initiation and Nav1.2 promotes its backpropagation. Hu et al., 2009 Nature Neuroscience. Also see comments: Dulla and Huguenard, 2009 Nature Neuroscience.

  • Membrane potential-dependent regulation of cortical recurrent inhibition. Zhu et al., 2011 PLoS Biology. Also see SYNOPSIS.
  • Asynchronous GABA release is upregulated in epileptic cortical tissue. Jiang et al., 2012 PLoS Biology.










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