Department of Neuroscience
Mærsk Tower, room 07-4-59
Phone: +45 2381 2746
Our lab has a developed a strong expertise in the study of intrinsic properties of individual neurons.
Our lab has a developed a strong expertise in the study of intrinsic properties of individual neurons. By means of technique such as patch clamp recording, pharmacology, two-photon imaging in slice preparations from the central nervous, we are investigating how ion channels generate the electrical activity of neurons and how this contributes to the behavior of neural networks. Our recent results include:
- The identification of the first cellular mechanism responsible for the motor fatigue that occurs in the central nervous system. Motoneurons are the final common output of the central nervous system. Their synaptic activation triggers the contraction of the muscle they innervate. Neurons from the raphe nuclei in the brainstem release serotonin on motoneurons by means of synaptic contacts. Their activation facilitates the activity of motoneurons and thereby muscle contraction. During intense physical activity, serotonin release is increased. A spillover occurs and serotonin reaches extrasynaptic receptors located on the axon initial segment of motoneurons. This inhibits action potential genesis and thereby muscle contraction. In that way serotonin prevents excessive muscle contraction (Cotel et al., 2013).
- The discovery of a new pathway that could prevent the development of temporal lobe epilepsy. The subiculum is a part of the temporal lope of the brain, and this is where temporal lobe epilepsy originates. Calcium flowing through CaV3 channels is responsible for the bursts of activity by pyramidal cells in the subiculum. When the activity of the neurons becomes overly synchronous, it results in abnormal electrical fluctuations, which lead to epileptic seizures. We have found that the activation of serotonin 2C receptors decreases the level of bursting by inhibiting CaV3 channels. This discovery could lead to the development of new principles for treating temporal lobe epilepsy (Petersen et al., 2017). See our popularization article in Videnskab.dk
We are currently investigating how glial cells from the spinal cord contribute to motor control. By means of patch clamp recording combined with calcium imaging of astrocytes, we study the mechanism by which astrocytes modulate synaptic transmission in neuronal networks dedicated to the production of movements.
We are part of the Interfacing emerging quantum technology with biology and neurophysiology (BioQ) project initiated by the group of Ulrik Lund Andersen at the Technical University of Denmark. The objective of this Interdisciplinary Synergy Programme financed by NovoNordiskFonden is to image magnetic fields in brain tissue with resolutions from millimeter to nanometer-scale.
BioQ is a collaboration bringing together a dedicated team of quantum physicists and neurophysiologists from partners DTU Physics, DTU Electrical Engineering, Copenhagen University’s Department of Neuroscience and Hvidovre Hospital’s Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance.
We are part of the Neurodevelopmental disorders and the synapse project headed by Professor Jakob Balslev Sørensen. We will investigate how mutations affecting the synaptic release machinery affect the ratio between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the hippocampus and the neocortex. The project is part of the personalized medicine initiative funded by the Lundbeck Foundation.