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Laboratory of Neurobiology of Insulin Peptides



Our focus in the neurobiology of insulin peptides (ILPs) as a model system in the body→brain dialog provides us with a specific paradigm to approach the intricate physiological network relating metabolism and brain health. Building on previous work that led to positioning ILPs as relevant components of brain homeostasis and consequently, of neurodegenerative diseases, we are currently working on two aspects of ILP neurobiology. A first one relates to the role played by these hormones in brain metabolism, focusing most prominently on astrocytes and their support to neurons. A second one is aimed to define specific circuits underlying the pleiotropy of ILPs, such as the orexin system in the lateral hypothalamus. From a more general perspective we are using a multidisciplinary approach “from molecules to behavior” to determine mechanisms whereby life-style factors (physical exercise, stress, diet, social engagement…etc) modulate the activity of the Insulin/ IGF-I dyad in the brain and its physiological and pathological impacts.



Cell, molecular, and biochemical techniques of regular use in neuroscience. Behavior, electrophysiology and live imaging


Latest publications

  1. Brain IGF-I regulates LTP, spatial memory, and sexual dimorphic behavior

    Herrero-Labrador, Raquel; Fernández-Irigoyen, Joaquín; Vecino, Rebeca; González-Arias, Candela; Ausín, Karina; Crespo, Inmaculada; Acosta, Francisco J. Fernández; Nieto-Estévez, Vanesa; Román, M. José; Perea, Gertrudis; Torres-Alemán, Ignacio; Santamaría, Enrique; Vicario, Carlos
    Life Science Alliance (Oct, 2023) DOI: 10.26508/lsa.202201691
  2. The neurobiology of insulin-like growth factor I: From neuroprotection to modulation of brain states | Molecular Psychiatry

    Nuñez, Ángel, Angel; Zegarra-Valdivia, ; Fernandez de Sevilla, ; Pignatelli, Jaime; Torres Alemán, Ignacio
    Molecular Psychiatry (Jun, 2023) DOI: 10.1038/s41380-023-02136-6
  3. Electroactive Materials Surface Charge Impacts Neuron Viability and Maturation in 2D Cultures

    Marques-Almeida, Teresa; Ribeiro, Clarisse; Irastorza, Igor; Miranda-Azpiazu, Patrícia; Torres-Alemán, Ignacio; Silvan, Unai; Lanceros-Méndez, Senentxu
    ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (Jun, 2023) DOI: 10.1021/acsami.3c04055
  4. Cognitive Deficits in Aging Related to Changes in Basal Forebrain Neuronal Activity

    Chaves-Coira, Irene; García-Magro, Nuria; Zegarra-Valdivia, Jonathan; Torres-Alemán, Ignacio; Núñez, Ángel
    Cells (May, 2023) DOI: 10.3390/cells12111477
  5. Untangling IGF-I signaling in the aging brain

    Zegarra-Valdivia, Jonathan; Nuñez, Angel; Aleman, Ignacio Torres
    Aging (Feb, 2023) DOI: 10.18632/aging.204507
  6. Insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I receptors in astrocytes exert different effects on behavior and Alzheimer´s-like pathology

    Zegarra-Valdivia, Jonathan; Fernandez, Ana M.; Martinez-Rachadell, Laura; Herrero-Labrador, Raquel; Fernandes, Jansen; Aleman, Ignacio Torres
    F1000Research (Dec, 2022) DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.121901.1
  7. Insulin-like growth factor I sensitization rejuvenates sleep patterns in old mice

    Zegarra-Valdivia, Jonathan A.; Fernandes, Jansen; Fernandez de Sevilla, Maria Estrella; Trueba-Saiz, Angel; Pignatelli, Jaime; Suda, Kentaro; Martinez-Rachadell, Laura; Fernandez, Ana Maria; Esparza, Julio; Vega, Miguel; Nuñez, Angel; Aleman, Ignacio Torres
    GeroScience (Aug, 2022) DOI: 10.1007/s11357-022-00589-1
  8. Insulin regulates neurovascular coupling through astrocytes

    Fernandez, Ana M.; Martinez-Rachadell, Laura; [...] Gutierrez, Antonia; Torres Aleman, Ignacio
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Jul, 2022) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2204527119
  9. Insulin-like Growth Factor I Couples Metabolism with Circadian Activity through Hypothalamic Orexin Neurons

    Pignatelli, Jaime; de Sevilla, M. Estrella Fernandez; Sperber, Jacob; Horrillo, Daniel; Medina-Gomez, Gema; Torres Aleman, Ignacio
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Apr, 2022) DOI: 10.3390/ijms23094679
  10. Response Facilitation Induced by Insulin-like Growth Factor-I in the Primary Somatosensory Cortex of Mice Was Reduced in Aging

    García-Magro, Nuria; Zegarra-Valdivia, Jonathan A.; Troyas-Martinez, Sara; Torres-Aleman, Ignacio; Nuñez, Angel
    Cells (Feb, 2022) DOI: 10.3390/cells11040717