Neurotransmission and Purinergic Signalling

Strategic objectives

  • To study of the differential signalling of nucleotide receptors, especially the ionotropic receptor P2X7, in neurons and astrocytes from different areas of the brain, cerebellum, cortex, and hippocampus.
  • To study of the effect of nucleotides on the survival and differentiation of neuronal and glial populations, and analysis of the intracellular mechanisms responsible for these effects. We will focus on the MAP kinase cascade and the GSK3 protein, as well as induced genes that could mediate both protective and reparative responses.
  • Interaction of nucleotide receptors with other survival factors, such as growth factors and neurotrophins.
  • To study of growth factors as regulators of nucleotide receptor gene expression, especially the P2X7 receptor.
  • To study of the role of purinergic receptors in adult neurogenesis in the murine brain in the subependymal zone (SEZ) of the lateral ventricle and in the granular zone of the dentate gyrus (SGZ). Analysis of the expression of receptors and ectoenzymes and their role in the progression and differentiation of different neural progenitor lineages.
  • Study of nucleotide receptor-coupled signalling in macrophages and its role in inflammatory function. Interaction with other inflammatory signals.

Lines of research

  • Signalling and physiology of nucleotide receptors in populations of neurons and astrocytes in the cerebellum, cortex, and hippocampus.
  • Role of nucleotide receptors in neuroprotection and neuroregeneration.
  • Interaction of nucleotide receptors with other neurotransmitter and growth factor systems.
  • Transcriptional regulation of nucleotide receptors.
  • Regulatory mechanisms of adult neurogenesis.
  • Role of nucleotide receptors in inflammation and neuropathic pain.
  • Pharmacological and functional characterisation of nicotinic receptors in the adrenal medulla of KO and KI mice for the alpha9 nicotinic receptor.
  • Mechanisms involved in stress-induced plasticity of alpha9 nicotinic receptors in chromaffin cells. Involvement in exocytosis
  • Identification and functional characterisation of alpha9 nicotinic receptors in dorsal root ganglion neurons of the rat spinal cord in models of neuropathic pain (partial ligation and chronic constriction of the rat sciatic nerve).
  • Involvement of P2X7 receptors in the propagation of cytosolic calcium waves in astrocytes (cerebral cortex and cerebellum) in culture and in rat and mouse brain slices: Analysis of interspecific differences.
  • P2X7 receptor regulation of gliotransmitter exocytosis in cultured rat and mouse brain astrocytes.
  • Regulation of astrocyte P2X7 receptor activity by redox state.
  • Regulation of connexin and glutamate transporter activity by the P2X7 receptor.
  • Study of the involvement of the purinergic system in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Search for new therapeutic targets.
  • Role of nucleotide receptors in neuronal differentiation, involvement in axonal and dendritic development.

Other members of the group

  • Beatriz Álvarez Castelao
  • Rodrigo Álvarez Pardo
  • Marina Arribas Blázquez
  • Raquel Bajo Grañeras
  • Mª Victoria Barahona Gomariz
  • Miguel Díaz Hernández
  • Rosa Gómez Villafuertes
  • Sara Izquierdo Bermejo
  • Irene Jarama Martín
  • Celia Llorente Sáez
  • Miguel Lobete Alonso
  • Mª Dolores Martín De Saavedra
  • Ricardo Martín Herranz
  • Luis Alcives Olivos Oré
  • Felipe Ortega
  • Maria Jesús Oset Gasque
  • Ráquel Pérez Sen
  • Antonio Rodríguez Artalejo
  • Alberto Sánchez-Aguilera López
  • Álvaro Sebastián Serrano
  • Julia Serrano López
  • Lucia Soria Tobar
  • Mº Ángeles Vicente Torres