Rekling Lab – University of Copenhagen

Jens Rekling Lab

The aim of the research is to understand how neurons in small assemblies interact to produce sensory and motor functions in the brain.

Group Leader

Associate Professor Jens Rekling

Department of Neuroscience
The Panum Institute, room 33-3-84

Phone: +45 3152 6540

Research Focus

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.

Key Publications

  • Phillips WS, Herly M, Del Negro CA, Rekling JC. Organotypic slice cultures containing the prebötzinger complex generate respiratory-like rhythms. J Neurophysiol. 2016 Feb 1;115(2):1063-70.
  • Kølvraa M, Müller FC, Jahnsen H, Rekling JC. Mechanisms contributing to cluster formation in the inferior olivary nucleus in brainstem slices from postnatal mice. J Physiol. 2013 Sep 16.
  • Rekling J.C., Jensen K.H., Jahnsen H. Spontaneous cluster activity in the inferior olivary nucleus in brainstem slices from postnatal mice. J Physiol. 2012; 590 (7): 1547-1562.
  • Del Negro, C.A., Hayes, J.A., and Rekling, J.C. 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
  • Rekling, J. C., Funk, G. D., Bayliss, D. A., Dong, X-W,  and Feldman, J. L. Synaptic control of motoneuronal excitability. Physiological Reviews. 2000; 80(2): 767-852.
  • Rekling, J.C., Shao,X.M., and Feldman, J.L.. Electrical coupling and excitatory synaptic transmission between rhythmogenic respiratory neurons in the preBötzinger Complex. J. Neuroscience. 2000; 20(23): RC113, 1-5.
  • Gray, P. A., Rekling, J. C., Bocchiaro, C. M., and Feldman, J. L. Modulation of respiratory frequency by peptidergic input to rhythmogenic neurons in the Prebötzinger complex. Science. 1999; 286 (5444):
  • Rekling, J. C. and Feldman, J.L. Prebötzinger complex and pacemaker neurons: Hypothesized site and kernel for respiratory rhythm generation. Annual Review of Physiology. 1998; vol 60: 385-405.
  • Rekling, J. C. , Champagnat, J. and Denavit-Saubié, M. Electroresponsive properties and membrane potential trajectories of three types of inspiratory neurons in  the newborn mouse brain stem in vitro. J. Neurophysiol. 1996; 75(2): 795-810.
  • Rekling, J.C. Effects of met-enkephalin on GABAergic spontaneous miniature IPSPs in organotypic slice cultures of the rat hippocampus. J. Neuroscience. 1993; 13: 1954-1964.

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 3152 6540

Ekstra information / Sidebar