Laboratory of Functional Neuroanatomy
Our current research interests are centred on the neuroanatomy and functional connectivity of neural circuits in the context of memory-related plasticity under normal and pathological conditions such as neurodegeneration and more specifically Alzheimer´s Disease (AD), but also paying attention to other neurological processes (depression, epilepsy and stress). These studies are carried out using both in vivo and in vitro approaches. Actually we are focused on the investigations of neurogenesis, neuronal-glial communication and plasticity in neuronal-glial networks as well as the serotonergic and glutamatergic neurotransmitter systems in normal and pathological conditions, including AD, by using transgenic models. The latter offer the unique possibility to study pathological brain plasticity upon different environmental and/or pharmacological treatment. We concentrate on pathology-related changes in various transmitter systems, associated with neurones and glia. In this sense we are designing series of in vivo experiments aimed at specific modification of these systems, by either functional (enriched environment, physical activity or dietary changes) or molecular biological (viral-based transfection with relevant signal-related molecules). These neuroanatomical and neurophysiological findings provide us with the structural evidence for understanding the pathological plasticity in neuronal-glial networks and neurotrasnmitter systems providing a theoretical basis for the understanding of the disease progression and the development of new therapeutic strategies.
Light and Electron microscope immunohistochemistry, classical morphometry and stereology are used. More recently, the neuroanatomical techniques mentioned above have been combined with electrophysiology in order to more precisely define the morpho-functional basis of neuronal, glial and synaptic plasticity
Bright field optical microscope with capacity for 3D recosntruction. Confocal Microscope. Electron Microscope. Microtome, Vibrotomes and ultramicrotome.Capacity for molecular biology.