Group leader: Philippe Bijlenga
Group name: Cerebral Ischemia
Affiliation: University Hospital
The interest of the laboratory is focused on stroke. The primary aim of research is to gain a better understanding of modifications in intracellular calcium signaling during neuronal ischemia. Cerebral ischemia induces a significant early (within minutes) and sustained increase of the intracellular calcium concentration. It also has been observed that an incerase of intracellular calcium lasting long enough could trigger an irrevesible mechanism that results in delayed neurons death. Preventing the intracellualr calcium increase during an ischemic insult by reducing the extracellular calcium concentration prevents delayed neuronal death. The research in the laboratory is therefore focused on understanding the alteration of intracellular calcium signaling during an ischemic insult. The effort is currently concentrated on understanding the implication of a specific type of voltage-activated calcium channel present on the plasma membrane (low thershold or T-type calcium channel) during ischemia. Neuronal ischemia is studied on three different models. Electrophysiology and calcium imaging is performed on dissociated neuronal cultures during ischemic insults. Pharamacology and neuroprotection studies are performed first in an in vitro model of ischemia delayed neuronal death in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures and then in an in vivo model of global ischemia in rats.