Does Cavbeta3 subunit confer neuroprotection in chronic inflammatory CNS disease?

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The figure above shows dendritic/somatic (MAP2) and nuclear (DAPI) staining of cultured cortical neurons from wild-type and beta3 knock-out mice.

Project 1 studies the role of the beta3 subunit of VDCC (Cavbeta3) in a mouse model of autoimmune optic neuritis and MS.
The aim of this project is to identify novel functions of Cavbeta3 which might be independent of its role as a neuronal VDCC subunit and may regulate intracellular calcium release.