Center of Experimental Morphology

Departamento de Anatomia - Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto

Projects

  • Nutritional Deprivations in the Adult Rat Brain

    Research Area: Health Sciences
    Project leaders: Andrade, José Paulo;

    OBJECTIVES

    One of the main objectives is to investigate the actions of polyphenols in the central nervous system and several other organs. Green tea (GT) consumption is increasing worldwide due to its known health-promoting effects. In this line, we have previously demonstrated that GT very rich in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has powerful antioxidant action in the hippocampal formation of old animals as described in a PhD thesis defended in April. To verify if the other catechins of GT have a similar effect we have also used in the same experimental settings and methodologies a green tea extract (GTE) composed mainly of epicatechin and epicatechin-gallate.
  • Plasticity of Neuronal Circuits in the Limbic Cortex

    Research Area: Health Sciences
    Project leaders: Lukoyanov, Nikolay;

    OBJECTIVES

    We have previously found that pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE) leads to a decrease in the density of neurons which express neuropeptide Y (NPY) in layers II-IV and VI of the rat retrosplenial granular b (Rgb) cortex and that brief generalized seizures elicited by electroshock (ECS) cause an increase in the density of NPY neurons in Rgb layer V. These data suggest that moderate brain damage induced by brief seizures can be compensated, partly at least, by plastic changes in local circuit NPY-producing neurons and that more severe damage involving loss of NPY neurons can lead to the formation of permanent epileptogenic foci in the brain.
  • Neurotrophins and Brain

    Research Area: Health Sciences
    Project leaders: Lukoyanov, Nikolay;

    OBJECTIVES

    Central cholinergic pathways are ideally suited to regulate global functions that rely upon the cerebral cortex, such as attention, arousal, motivation, memory and consciousness. Taking into account the available information, there are reasons to believe that the cholinergic system may be in a position to mediate changes in the cellular organization and/or in the phenotype of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), nucleus accumbens (Nac) and amygdala neurons.
  • Stress and Alcohol in the Brain

    Research Area: Health Sciences
    Project leaders: Madeira, Maria Dulce;

    OBJECTIVES

    Prolonged alcohol consumption modifies the activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis by down-regulating the neurons located in the medial parvocellular division of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVNmp) that synthesize the ACTH secretagogues corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) and vasopressin (VP). Because after prolonged alcohol consumption plasma corticosterone is within normal levels, those changes have been interpreted as adaptation of the HPA axis to excess alcohol, instead of ethanol-induced neurotoxicity.
  • Estrogens and Synaptic Plasticity in the Mature Brain

    Research Area: Health Sciences
    Project leaders: Madeira, Maria Dulce;

    OBJECTIVES

    The ventrolateral division of the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMNvl) is a region playing a prominent role in the control of feminine sexual behavior, namely the lordosis reflex. Around 80% and 40% of its neurons contain ER? and ER? mRNA, respectively. Activation of ER? in the VMNvl by elevated circulating concentrations of estradiol, secreted by ovaries in proestrus, is required for stimulation of female sexual receptivity. Otherwise, disruption of the receptor function resulted in suppression of lordosis reflex in ovariectomized mice in response to estradiol or estradiol plus progesterone treatment.
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Contactos
Centro de Morfologia Experimental
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto
Al. Professor Hernâni Monteiro
4200-319 Porto
tel. (+351) 22 551 36 16
fax (+351) 22 551 36 17
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© 2017 Departamento de Anatomia / Produção CI FMUP