Cutting-edge science for health

Molecular mechanisms and functional consequences of P2X receptor activation in rat hypothalamus

Laboratory of Cellular and molecular neuroendocrinology

PhD project: Molecular mechanisms and functional consequences of P2X receptor activation in rat hypothalamus

Purinergic P2X receptors are ligand gated ion channels activated by extracellular ATP. They play a role in neurotransmission, inflammation and pain sensation. Despite the fact that both neurons and glia cells release ATP and express high levels of P2X and P2Y receptors, exact physiological role of purinergic signaling in the brain is still not well understood. The research will be focused on the control ATP release and expression of P2X receptors in hypothalamus, the area of the brain responsible for the regulation of endocrine functions. Techniques used in this project will involve cellular electrophysiology, molecular biology, genetic modification of receptors, western blotting, calcium imaging, confocal microscopy, transgenic rats, and recording from neurons in primary culture and rat brain slices.

Candidate’s profile (requirements):

We are looking for self-motivated candidates with master's degree or equivalent in the field of biomedicine, physiology, molecular biology, biochemistry or biophysics, or those expecting to obtain their degree this year. Experience with cellular electrophysiology is advantage.

Relevant publications:

Ivetic M, Bhattacharyya A, Zemkova H (2019) P2X2 receptor expression and function is upregulated in the rat supraoptic nucleus stimulated through refeeding after fasting. Front Cell Neurosci 13: 284.

Svobodova I, Bhattacharya A, Ivetic M, Bendova Z, Zemkova H (2018) Circadian ATP Release in Organotypic Cultures of the Rat Suprachiasmatic Nucleus Is Dependent on P2X7 and P2Y Receptors. Front Pharmacology 9:192.

Mackay L, Zemkova H, Stojilkovic SS, Sherman A, and Khadra A (2017) Deciphering the regulation of P2X4 receptor channel gating by ivermectin using Markov models. PLoS computational biology 13, e1005643.

Bhattacharya A, Vavra V, Svobodova I, Bendova Z, Vereb G, Zemkova H (2013) Potentiation of inhibitory synaptic transmission by extracellular ATP in rat suprachiasmatic nuclei. J Neurosci 33:8035-8044.

Supervisor: Hana Zemková, PhD.