Rekling Lab – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Neuroscience > Research Groups > Rekling Lab

Rekling Lab

Jens C. Rekling, Associate Professor, MD, DMSci
Phone: +45 31 52 65 40
Skype: jrekling

Henrik Jahnsen, Associate Professor, MD, DMSci
Phone: +45 40 37 74 66


The aim of the research is to understand how neurons in small assemblies interact to produce sensory and motor functions in the brain. A variety of electrophysiological and optical techniques are used to study living neurons in preparations of nervous tissue that maintain functional sensorimotor systems under in vitro conditions. We seek to answer fundamental questions such as: What neural microcircuit mechanisms in the brainstem are involved in generating breathing movements? How do sensory and motor systems produce precision movements? What developmental processes are involved in specifying functional microcircuits? Ultimately we wish to contribute to an understanding of how brain function emerges from network interactions between individual neurons.

Current projects

Respiratory rhythmogenesis
En-block brainstem, acute slice, and slice culture preparations from newborn mice are used to study the cellular and system properties of respiratory neurons with the aim of understanding how breathing rhythm is generated.

Spontaneous respiratory activity on hypoglossal and cervical nerves in an in vitro brainstem-spinal cord preparation from postnatal mice.

Calcium domains
Slice and whole-mount preparations from newborn mice are used to study coordinated calcium activity in neighboring groups of neurons with the aim of understanding early developmental specification of neural function.

Processing of sensory information and cerebellar function
Slice preparations from the inferior olive from newborn mice are used to study spontaneous coordinated activity in clusters of inferior olive neurons with the aim of understanding early olivocerebellar development and function. The internal processing in the cerebellar cortex is analyzed in the intact cerebellum. Of particular focus is the inner workings of mossy fibers, and the Golgi cell inhibitory control of the mossy fiber-granule cell synapse in the input layer of the cerebellar cortex.

Detection of clusters in the inferior olivary nucleus in a slice from postnatal mice. Movie showing concurrent image stacks of original Fluo-8, AM data, ∆F/F and 1 frame subtraction, and three stages of an automatic cluster detection algorithm as described in our 2013 paper in J. Physiol.

Openings, student projects

We are currently looking for students interested in doing their Bachelor, Master, or PhD project in our group. We will actively support the application of suitable students for scholarships from various sources. The projects might include both electrophysiological, optical and molecular biology techniques. If you are interested in becoming a member of our team, please contact:

Jens C. Rekling
phone: +45 31 52 65 40


Jens C. Rekling, Associate Professor, Email:
Henrik Jahnsen, Associate Professor, email:
Morten Bjerre Nielsen, Lab Technician, Email:
Jakob Sture Madsen, UCPH, Molec.Biomed. Bacherlor student.
Paula Beltran, University of Barcelona, Master student (Erasmus).
Esmira Mamedova, UCPH, Research Assistent.

Key publications last 10 years

  • Phillips WS, Herly M, Del Negro CA, Rekling JC. (2016). Organotypic slice cultures containing the prebötzinger complex generate respiratory-like rhythms. J Neurophysiol. 2016 Feb 1;115(2):1063-70.
  • Albert M, Schmitz SU, Kooistra SM, Malatesta M, Morales Torres C, Rekling JC, Johansen JV, Abarrategui I, Helin K. The Histone Demethylase Jarid1b Ensures Faithful Mouse Development by Protecting Developmental Genes from Aberrant H3K4me3. PLoS Genet. 2013 Apr;9(4):e1003461.
  • Kølvraa M, Müller FC, Jahnsen H, Rekling JC. (2014). Mechanisms contributing to cluster formation in the inferior olivary nucleus in brainstem slices from postnatal mice. J Physiol.  Jan 1;592(Pt 1):33-47.
  • Rekling J.C., Jensen K.H., Jahnsen H. (2012).Spontaneous cluster activity in the inferior olivary nucleus in brainstem slices from postnatal mice. J Physiol April 2012 590 (7) 1547-1562.
  • Persson, K., and Rekling, J.C. (2011). Population calcium imaging of spontaneous respiratory- and novel motor activity in the facial nucleus and ventral brainstem in newborn mice- J. Physiol 589 (10): 2543-2558
  • Del Negro, C.A., Hayes, J.A., and Rekling, J.C. (2011). Dendritic calcium activity precedes inspiratory bursts in preBötzinger Complex neurons of neonatal mice recorded in vitro. J. Neuroscience. January 19, 2011 31(3):1017-1022