NeuroMet - Neurometabolism in health and disease
We study the biochemical and cellular mechanisms underlying energy and amino acid metabolism in the mammalian brain, as well as metabolic brain disorders.
The research in NeuroMet is focused on energy and amino acid metabolism in the mammalian brain. Primary mouse cell culture systems of neurons and astrocytes from cerebral cortex or cerebellum are extensively employed. In addition, genetically modified animals, organotypical hippocampal cultures, acutely isolated brain tissue, isolated mitochondria and cell lines are applied as model systems. An array of 3H, 15N and 13C isotopes is utilized in the mapping of metabolic pathways and their regulation. HPLC and mass spectrometry are key analytical tools combined with biochemical assays, protein biochemistry, molecular biology and fluorescence-based assays and imaging techniques.
- Decline in brain energy metabolism is an early pathogenic marker of Alzheimer’s disease. How is this hypometabolism linked to disease progression?
- Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease. A possible link could be associated with alterations in brain energy metabolism.
The power plant is affected in the aged brain. But, what reactors are affected the most and how? Are other mechanisms compensating?
- The brain is an extremely expensive organ to fuel due to the high cost of signalling. What is the link between signalling and the production of energy?
- The neurotransmitter glutamate is toxic in high amounts. It is also tightly linked to generation of energy. How does the brain manage to keep this balanced?
- Brain cells in culture is an attractive model to investigate cellular events. We are developing new devices to improve the in-vivo like characters of astrocytes and neurons in culture.