Projects of the labortory

Most of the research in the laboratory of molecular basis of behaviour focusses on two areas: memory formation and mechanisms underlying addictions. A list of tools we use can be seen here. Below you can find brief descriptions of our main projects.

psd95oe

Circuits of memory extinction

In this project, we investicate the correlation between activity of different brain regions in extinction of fear memory in both short-term (24 h) and long-term (30 days) paradigms. The network investigation is done by analysing cfos staining (cell activity marker) in brain regions and then perturbing the activity of those regions by DREADD technology. Brain clearing techniques are also applied in this project

cfos

Molecular basis of fear extinction

In this big project, we focus on the CA1 area of the hippocampus and way it changes when animals are rebuilding their memory. We investigate dendritic spine dynamics (using confocal and electron microscopy) and manipulate extinction by inhibing the CA1, or by blocking plasticity of synapses by inhibiting PSD-95 trafficking. Moreover we focus on different dendritic segment and we have discovered that memory remodelling has different effects on stratum oriens, stratum radiatum or stratum lacunosum moleculare. Part of the project is dedicated to understanding these differences.

Pic 02

Memory formation in old animals

In this project, memory in aged individuals is studied. Animals are trained in groups in the intellcage system, where the learn the position of a sugar reward. Thus far our research indicated that this learning is dependent on PSD-95 avaiabiliy but only in adult animals. Olda animals are often unstable learners.

cfos

PSD-95 trafficking in synaptic plasticity

In this project, done in organotypic hippocampal cultures, we investigate PSD-95 trafficking in both LTD and LTP. To this end we use electrophysiology and light and electron microscopy.

cfos

Molecular basis of alcohol addiction

In this large project, we investigate the molecular pathways that contribute to alcohol addiction and relapse. We focus on Arc-dependent AMPA receptor trafficking and glutamate receptor subunit composition. We focus on the dentate gyrus and amygdala areas of the brain.

cfos

Acute effects of alcohol

Sensitisation to alcohol, and memory impairments are the main focus of this project. Here we have shown that memory impairments induced by ethanol can be rescued by antioxidant administration. We also try to elucidate the molecular basis of sensitisation to ethanol.