Laboratory of Neurobiology

Head: Leszek KACZMAREK

Staff: Artur Czupryn, Mayank Chaturvedi (PhD Student), Magdalena Dziembowska, Hubert Doleżeczek, Izabela Figiel-Ożog, Krishnendu Ganguly, Dorota Gierej (PhD Student), Aleksandra Janusz (PhD Student), Tomasz Jaworski, Katarzyna Kalita-Bykowska, Ilona Kondratiuk (PhD Student), Paulina Koza (PhD Student), Bożena Kuźniewska (doktorantka), Tomasz Lebitko (PhD Student), Katarzyna Łepeta (PhD Student), Jewgeni Nikolajew, Emilia Rejmak-Kozicka, Izabela Rutkowska-Włodarczyk, Barbara Pijet, Olga Sakharczuk (PhD Student), Marzena Stefaniuk, Bogusia Sudoł-Rutkowska, Magda Szymańska (PhD Student), Grażyna Woźniak, Katarzyna Żybura-Broda (PhD Student)

Research profile:

The long-term goal of our work is to understand the molecular basis of persistent neuronal responses. Two sets of phenomena are under investigation: neural plasticity, including learning and memory formation, and neuro- degeneration bearing features of apoptosis. Both sets of conditions share similarities in involving excitatory amino acids acting on specific receptors. Furthermore, as a result of neuronal stimulation, transduction of a signal into cell nucleus leads to activation to at least partially overlapping sets of transcription factors, and their target genes. Thus, it appears that it is not possible to understand one of these processes separately from the other. More information about Laboratory on the web page


Biochemistry and molecular biology of macromolecular interactions in a test-tube through in vitro cell culture (stable cell lines as well as primary dissociated and organotypic animal neuronal cultures) through transgenic rodents, and behavioral analyses up to human studies (gene polymorphisms and brain imaging), cell biology techniques-fluorescent cell imaging.

Current research activities:

• matrix metalloproteinases (especially MMP-9) and their endogenous inhibitors (e.g., TIMP-1) in neuronal plasticity (physiological and pathological: epilepsy, addiction) and cell death
• cyclin D2 in adult brain neurogenesis; the role of adult brain neurogenesis in neuronal plasticity, learning and memory, depression and addiction
ICER, the endogenous CREB antagonist in neuronal apoptosis and plasticity
SRE, serum response element and its transcriptional regulators in neuronal/synaptic plasticity
• morphological changes of dendritic spines in animal models of alcohol addiction
• behavioral phenotyping of genetically modified rodents

Selected publications:

Dziembowska M., Milek J., Janusz A., Rejmak E., Romanowska E., Górkiewicz T., Tiron A., Bramham C., Kaczmarek L. (2012) Activity-dependent local translation of matrix metalloproteinase-9. Journal of Neuroscience, 32: 14538-14547.

Michaluk P., Wawrzyniak M., Alot P., Szczot M., Wyrembek P., Mercik K., Medvedev N., Wilczek E., DeRoo M., Zuschratter W., Muller D., Wilczyński G.M., Mozrzymas J.W., Stewart M.G., Kaczmarek L., Włodarczyk J. (2011) Influence of matrix metallopro- teinase, MMP-9 on dendritic spine morphology. Journal of Cell Science, 124: 3369-3380.

Michaluk P., Mikasova L., Groc L., Frischknecht R., Choquet D., Kaczmarek L. (2009) Matrix metalloproteinase-9 controls NMDA receptor surface diffusion through integrin [gJ 1 signaling. Journal of Neuroscience, 29: 6007-6012.

Knapska E., Macias M., Mikosz M., Nowak A., Owczarek D., Wawrzyniak M., Pieprzyk M., Cymerman I.A., Werka T., Sheng M., Maren S., Jaworski J., Kaczmarek L. (2012) Functional anatomy of neural circuits regulating fear and extinction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 42: 17093-17098.

Wilczyński G.M., Konopacki F.A., Wilczek E., Lasiecka Z., Gorlewicz A., Michaluk P., Wawrzyniak M., Malinowska M., Okulski P., Kołodziej L.R., Konopka W., Duniec K., Mioduszewska B., Nikolaev E., Walczak A., Owczarek D., Górecki D.C., Zuschratter W., Ottersen O.P., Kaczmarek L. (2008) Important role of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in epileptogenesis. Journal of Cell Biolology, 180: 1021-1035