SenseLab Overview

SenseLab contains ten related databases that support experimental and theoretical research on the membrane properties that mediate information processing in nerve cells, using the olfactory pathway as a model system. There are three groups: neuronal, olfactory, and disease. All of the databases have the same database structure, so that there is continuous navigation between them. The neuronal databases are provided with tools which allow searches for combinations of properties across different neuron types. The olfactory databases are focused on olfactory receptors and odor maps. The disease database (under development) supports research on drugs for the treatment of selected neurological diseases

Neuronal Databases

Cell Properties Database (CellPropDB) contains data regarding membrane properties for several types of neuron. The properties are receptors, channels and transmitters. This database is designed as an initial site for storage and retrieval of genes and proteins expressed in a given cell type in a given region of the brain

Neuron Database (NeuronDB) contains the data in CellPropDB, showing where in the neuron the different membrane properties are distributed. This information is essential for understanding the integrative actions in different parts of a neuron, and for constructing computational models

Model Database (ModelDB) contains published computational models of neurons from NeuronDB, complete with files for running the models. The models give insight into how the membrane properties mediate neuronal integration and information processing, and suggest new hypotheses for experimental testing.

Microcircuit Database (MicrocircuitDB) provides an accessible location for storing and efficiently retrieving realistic computational models of brain microcircuits and networks. MicrocircuitDB is tightly coupled with ModelDB, containing models of those neurons, and with NeuronDB, which contains the distribution of membrane properties within neuron types.

3D Model Database (3DModelDB) is a collection of 3D printable versions of published neuron morphologies, both traced and artificial. Each printable model is associated with a morphology suitable for running simulations. We are applying this approach to analyzing nerve cells in the olfactory pathway and are extending it to nerve cells in other brain regions.

Olfactory Databases

 Olfactory Receptor Database (ORDB) contains data on the genes and sequences for olfactory receptor proteins. It provides for blast searches of both published and unpublished sequences. It is aimed at supporting the formidable task of cloning, sequencing and analysing these receptors that constitute the largest gene family in the genome

Odor Molecule Database (OdorDB) contains data on the odor molecules that have been shown to interact with different olfactory receptors. It is aimed at helping to solve the unprecedented problem of identifying the preferred odor ligands among thousands of potential molecules for the hundreds of different olfactory receptors

Odor Map Database (OdorMapDB) contains odor-elicited activity patterns in the olfactory bulb. It is based on current high resolution fMRI studies in rodents, with background data on the origins of mapping with 2-deoxyglucose. It facilitates correlations between these patterns and those obtained by other methods, and with molecular maps of olfactory receptor cell projections to the glomeruli. This provides an integrated framework for understanding the neural basis of initial odor processing underlying the sense of smell.

Disease Databases

BrainPharm is a database under development to support research on drugs for the treatment of different neurological disorders. It contains agents that act on neuronal receptors and signal transduction pathways in the normal brain and in nervous disorders. It enables searches for drug actions at the level of key molecular constituents, cell compartments and individual cells, with links to models of these actions.