Dr. Alexej Verkhratsky

Prof. Dr. Alexej Verkhratsky

L-VGCC subtypes and Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release

Experimental Medicine, Academy of Science [IEM ASCR], Prague

Research is focused on the cellular, molecular and morphological changes in neurons and glial cells during pathological states such as anoxia and ischemia and during nervous tissue regeneration. In addition, the morphological, membrane and immunohistochemical properties of endogenous stem cells are studied to reveal their possible role in neurodegeneration after injury. Advanced electrophysiological, immunohistochemical and imaging techniques, as well as transgenic animals, are used to identify changes in membrane ionic channels and the expression of cell-type specific markers. Three-dimensional confocal morphometry is used to quantify morphological changes in neurons, glial cells and stem cells.

Research at the Laboratory of Neurobiology focuses on these main topics:

  • Characterization of events affecting ischemic brain damage, especially astrocytic swelling and the disturbance of K+,Cl- and Ca2+ homeostasis
  • Identification of the role of chloride movement in regulatory volume processes in astrocytes during and after ischemia
  • Characterization of the ischemia-induced time-dependent changes in Ca2+ entry carried by voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels, TRPC channels, ionotropic glutamate and purinergic receptors in glial cells
  • Correlation of ischemia-induced changes with the onset of reactive gliosis and glial proliferation
  • Identification of endogenous neural stem cell migration and differentiation during regeneration
  • Morphometric measurements and three-dimensional reconstruction of morphological changes of neurons, glial cells and stem cells during pathological states and regeneration

Laboratory of Molecular Neurophysiology

Identification of cellular and molecular mechanisms of integration in neural networks, through characterisation of intercellular signalling pathways within neuronal-glial circuits and intracellular signalling mechanisms in neurones and glia in physiological and pathological conditions.

By employing the complex of electrophysiological, video-imaging and molecular biological techniques we shall identify main receptors responsible for these signalling and localise intracellular signalling cascades. Further we shall develop a complex understanding of information processing in neuronal-glial circuits thus contributing to a more inclusive theory of brain function, which emphasises a continuous interplay of discreet neuronal networks with reticular and internally continuous astroglial web.

Research at the Laboratory of Cellular Neurophysiology focuses on these main topics:

  • role of glutamatergic and purinergic pathways in neuronal-glial signalling in cortex, hippocampus and spinal cord with a specific emphasis on the glial NMDA and P2X receptors;
  • purinoreceptor-mediated signalling in neurones and glia in the context of their role in sensory transduction and in acute and chronic pain;
  • glial representation of TRP channels and their role in glial signalling;
  • ion channels and Ca2+ signalling cascades in various types of neural stem cells at different stages of differentiation;
  • in vivo imaging on neuronal-glial circuits in physiological and pathophysiological conditions;
  • calcium signalling cascades in neurodegeneration and in Alzheimer disease in particular;
  • morphology and physiology of glia in normal brain ageing.
CavNet 0049 7071 2987644
L-type calcium channels in health and disease knipper@uni-tuebingen.de