Neurotrophins play numerous roles in the nervous system, including the regulation of neuronal development, long-term modulation of synaptic transmission and in neuronal survival and neuroprotection under several different injury conditions. These effects are mediated by activation of specific receptors with tyrosine kinase activity, which are coupled to the activation of several parallel intracellular signaling cascades. Some of these intracellular pathways regulate the translation machinery, thereby controlling local protein synthesis using transcripts transported along the dendrites in RNA granules. Alterations in these signaling mechanisms have been associated with the dysregulation of local synthesis of proteins and are involved in various disorders of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
This group focuses on:
The effect of neurotrophins is mainly studied on glutamatergic synapses, but how the resulting changes in neuronal excitability affect inhibitory neurotransmission is also investigated. To address these questions the group uses neuronal cell cultures and animal models of disease, in addition to a wide range of experimental tools, including biochemical approaches, together with cellular and molecular biology and electrophysiology techniques.
Novel cerebrospinal fluid and serum biomarkers for Multiple Sclerosis, Grant # RG-1601-07502, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, USA. (2016 – 2019). PI: Carlos Duarte
BDNF-induced alterations in the synaptic proteome and neuronal excitability in the pilocarpine model of temporal lobel epilepsy, COMPETE 2020 - Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation, FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal (2018-2021). PI: Carlos Duarte
Targeting the K+-Cl- cotransporter (KCC2) to maintain GABAergic neurotransmission: a novel therapeutic strategy for epilepsy, COMPETE 2020 - Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation, FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal (2018-2021). PI: Miranda Mele
Biodegradable dendrimers for targeted neuroprotective therapies in stroke, PTDC/CTM-NAN/3547/2014, Funded by FCT, Portugal (2016 – 2019). PI at CNC: Carlos B. Duarte