Martin Lauritzen – University of Copenhagen

Martin Lauritzen

Lab leader: Professor Martin Lauritzen
Phone: (45) 51298169

Research in this laboratory concentrates on the neural and astrocytic mechanisms of local vascular regulation. Our basic research circles around blood flow control and blood-brain barrier properties under normal physiological conditions. In addition, we study aging, stroke and fast calcium waves that most commonly occur in disease states.  These waves exist as astroglial calcium waves (AGCW) that can be perceived as spatially restricted calcium rises in groups of astrocytes normally only 100 µm across and as cortical spreading depolarization waves (CSD) that involve both neurons and glia and propagate along the entire cortical mantle. Fast calcium waves are mechanistically involved in brain ageing, migraine, stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hematoma and traumatic brain injury.

Calcium imaging - dye injection in vivo

In order to study the physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms we use different methodologies that give information on different variables and scales. We use laser speckle contrast imaging to examine blood flow at the network level while we use two-photon microscopy to examine blood flow and permeability of single capillaries and penetrating arterioles.  In order to examine cellular regulation of blood flow we examine calcium dynamics in astrocytes and neurons, cell body and fine processes by use of organic or genetically encoded fluorescent calcium indicators.  We use multi electrode arrays to examine synaptic currents and oxygen electrodes to calculate brain energy metabolism. We also work to develop new methodologies that permit us to study the dynamics of cell organelles, i.e. conformational changes in organelles in relation to synaptic activity and in disease states. This is likely to reveal new disease mechanisms and new treatments based on an improved understanding of disease pathophysiology.  These developments promise to take two-photon microscopy one step further and may represent a way to obtain unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution in examination of the neurovascular unit and subcellular events in neurons and astrocytes in health and disease.