Laboratory of Reinnervation Processes

Head: Julita CZARKOWSKA-BAUCH

Staff: Olga Gajewska (PhD student), Kamil Grycz (student), Anna Maciejewska (student), Klara Piotrowska (student), Rafał Płatek (PhD student), Małgorzata Skup, Angelika Więckowska (student), Ewelina Ziemlińska

Research profile:

Injury of the central nervous system (CNS) causes alterations in the transcriptional programs that determine neuronal fate: survival and recovery or death. One of the most powerful pro-survival/recovery programs of neuronal and glial populations in the CNS may be triggered by neurotrophins. We focus on neurotrophins, their receptors as well as on related molecules assuming that their selective upregulation may limit signaling through pro-apoptotic pathways and promote recovery processes. Several approaches to modulate an expression of these molecules after spinal cord injury have been employed: locomotor exercise, electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves and adeno-associated virus transduction mediating neurotrophins or adhesion mole- cules expression. These treatments cause remodeling of the spinal neuronal network and functional improvement which are evaluated with immunohistochemical, biochemical and molecular biology as well as with behavioral and electrophysiological methods.

Methods:

• immunocytochemical: DNA/RNA staining, cell labeling, fiber tracing
• molecular biology techniques: electrophoresis and Western blotting, RT PCR, in situ hybridization
• behavioral and electrophysiological: kinematic analysis during locomotion, EMG, H-reflex

Current research activities:

• modulation of the endogenous level of neurotrophic factors and their receptors in the spinal cord owing to locomotor exercise or electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves
AAV transduction mediating neurotrophins or adhesion molecules and their effects on recovery processes following spinal cord injury
• the effect of spinal cord transection and physical exercise on the reorganization of synaptic input to motoneurons
• apoptosis and patterns of expression of transcription factors and prosurvival/proapoptotic proteins following cortical and spinal cord injuries

Selected publications:

Skup M., Gajewska-Woźniak O., Grygielewicz P., Mankovskaya T., Czarkowska-Bauch J. (2012) Differential deficit in cholinergic innervation of the soleus and tibialis anterior motoneurons after spinal cord transection in the rat and its compensations by locomotor training. European Journal of Neuroscience, 36: 2679–2688.

Macias M., Nowicka D., Czupryn A., Sulejczak D., Skup M., Skangiel-Kramska J., Czarkowska-Bauch J. (2009) Exercise-induced motor improvement after complete spinal cord transection and its relation to expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and presynaptic markers. BMC Neuroscience, 10: 144.

Osikowicz M., Skup M., Mika J., Makuch W., Czarkowska-Bauch J., Przewłocka B. (2009) Glial inhibitors influence the mRNA and protein levels of mGlu2/3, 5 and 7 receptors and potentiate the analgesic effects of their ligands in a mouse model of neuropathic pain. Pain, 147: 175-186.

Chen J., Wu J., Apostolova I., Skup M., Irintchev A., Kugler S., Schachner M. (2007) Adeno-associated virus-mediated L1 expres- sion promotes functional recovery after spinal cord injury. Brain, 130: 954-969.

Sulejczak D., Ziemlińska E., Czarkowska-Bauch J., Nosecka E., Strzałkowski R., Skup M. (2007) Focal photothrombotic lesion of the motor cortex causes an increase of BDNF level in the motor-sensory cortical areas not accompanied by forelimb motor skills recovery. Journal of Neurotrauma, 24: 1362–1377.

Macias M., Dwornik A., Ziemlińska E., Fehr S., Schachner M., Czarkowska-Bauch J., Skup M. (2007) Locomotor exercise alters expression of pro-BDNF, BDNF and its receptor TrkB in the spinal cord of adult rats. European Journal of Neuroscience, 25:
2425-2444