From left to right: Frank Mikuski, Daniel González-Nieto, Milagros Ramos, Laura Fernández, Norma Ramírez, Soledad Martínez, José Luis Gaztelú-Quijano, Juan Barios, Ceferino Maestú, José Mª Arguelles.
The unit of cell and animal models performs basic research for the study and
treatment of different neurological diseases covering several scientific lines
i) Cell therapy and pharmacologic approaches to treat stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
ii) Search for new markers with valuable prognostic in Alzheimer’s disease.
iii) therapeutic approaches of magnetic fields and dosimetry studies of the exposition to electromagnetic radiations. The unit is composed of a
multidisciplinary research team from three different laboratories:
-Molecular Biology and Biofunctionalization
-Experimental and Computational Neurology
Target: Development of biofunctionalized nanoparticles for biomedical applications.
Description: Development of selective markers based on magnetic nanoparticles to be used as contrast agents for early diagnosis of Alzheimer´s disease by RMI. Labeling of human neural precursor cells (hNPCs) with magnetic nanoparticles for in vivo cell tracking in cell replacement therapies against neurodegenerative diseases (i.e. Parkinson disease). Development of nanomarkers for early tumor diagnosis and therapy. Synthesis and characterization of biofunctionalized nanostructures for MRI and hyperthermia.
-Cell viability and cytoxicicty assays.
-Synthesis of nanoconjugates.
-Animal models of neurodegenerative diseases.
Target: Research on brain communication mechanisms with very low frequency and intensity pulsed magnetic fields. Investigate the neurophysiologic basis of pain.
Description: Research on brain communication mechanisms with very low frequency and intensity pulsed magnetic fields. New devices and magnetic actuators, fMRI compatible, for clinical applications and low electromagnetic fields: Fibromyalgia, trigeminal neuralgia, migraine, depression etc. Neurophysiologic basis of pain: X fragile syndrome, Fibromyalgia, trigeminal neuralgia, migraine. Pulsed Magnetic Field Stimulation to enhance Neurite Growth. Environmental EMF Dosimetry.
Techniques: Dosimetry, EMF immission, low intensity TMS, Magnetoencephalography and fMRI.
Infrastructure: instrumentation set-ups to measure the effects of Bioelectromagnetic files on cells and animals. Electronic Workshop.
-Laboratory of biochemistry.
-Cell culture lab.
-Optical fluorescence microscopy.
Target: To elucidate the role that intercellular communication by connexins has in the physiology of different tissues upon normal and pathological conditions. Connexins are proteins with an extraordinary complexity derived from their ability to mediate ionic and metabolic transference between cells. In addition Connexins are involved in different aspects of cell signalling, including quiescence/proliferation balance, cell adhession and migration, or resistance to injury. The identification of several human disorders associated with impaired Connexin functions (Connexinopathies) has emphasized the potentiality of these proteins in the regulation of different cellular processes.
Description: Our team is formed by investigators with different scientific profiles from CTB and Hospital Ramón & Cajal. Currently our activity is covering several areas of research:
1) The study of electrical synapses mediated by Connexin-36 in the generation and maintenance of electrical activity in the brain upon normal and pathologic conditions such as the epilepsy.
2) The role of connexins in the pan-glial syncitium and their function in myelin regulation and maintenance in peripheral and central nervous system.
3) The role of Connexins in the bone marrow stem cell niche. We try to clarify the role exerted by connexins regulating the interaction between the hematopoietic stem cells and the stroma microenviorment, and analyze the relevance of such interaction in bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy and stem cell mobilization procedures.
4) To investigate the neurogenic potential of BM mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of stroke.
1. Electrophysyiological techniques: a) EEG recordings in animal models; b) Dual Voltage-clamp in xenopus laevis oocytes
2. Cell and molecular biology techniques: Cell cultering, Flow citometry, direct-site mutagenesis, cDNA clonning, RT-PCR, Western-Blot, inmunohistochemistry, exogenous expression in different cell lines, retroviral and lentiviral transduction, migration and adhession assays, bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell isolation and expansion, Bone marrow transplant, homing and mobilization assays.
1. Culture cell room with complete equipment: including laminar flow hood, cells incubators, centrifuges, thermocycler, fluorescence microscope, microscope for cell counting and checking, freezers (-80 & -20) etc.
2. Setup for EEG recording in animal models.
3. Complete availability of Hospital Ramón & Cajal resources, including: Electrophysiology setups for voltage-clamp and patch-clamp, FacsCanto II Cytometer, Confocal Microscope.