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Home » Laboratórios » Pesquisa » Laboratório de Neuroplasticidade » LABORATORY OF NEUROPLASTICITY

LABORATORY OF NEUROPLASTICITY

Investigators

Fernanda Tovar-Moll (fernanda.tovarmoll@idor.org)

Patricia Pestana Garcez  (ppgarcez@icb.ufrj.br)

Roberto Lent (rlent@icb.ufrj.br)


The Laboratory of Neuroplasticity, of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro , works in strong association with the Laboratory of Cerebral Connectivity of the D’Or Institute, having as the main objective to study the phenomena of brain reorganization that occur during or after embryonic development, as a result of genetic or environmental influences, pathologic or natural, in animals as in human beings.

To fulfill this objective, we use techniques of cellular neurobiology including organotypic culture of the nervous system, histological technoques of axonal tracing followed by tridimensional reconstruction at the microscope, immunocytochemistry of molecules relevant to the studied phenomena, techniques for quantification of the absolute cll composition of brains and regions of interest, as well as magnetic ressonance imaging of animals and humans, as well as electrophysiologic and magnetic methods of recording brain activity.

The following are the research projects currently in execution:

1. Cortical and callosal plasticity after limb amputation – a study with patients and animal models: aims at identifying the functional and structural changes in the cerebral cortex and the corpus callosum as a consequence of amputation, especially those related to intercortical connectivity.

2. Cortical plasticity in cases of dysgenesis of the corpus callosum – a study with patients and animal models: aims at identifying the formation of aberrant tracts and connections, as well as their functionality, in the brain of animals and human beings born with defects in callosal formation.

 The two cortical regions active in resting state (in red and in blue) are connected by an alternative bundle that substitutes the corpus callosum, crossing through the midbrain posterior commissure. The image was acquired from a patient with callosal dysgenesis. Tovar-Moll et al. (2014) PNAS USA.
The two cortical regions active in resting state (in red and in blue) are connected by an alternative bundle that substitutes the corpus callosum, crossing through the midbrain posterior commissure. The image was acquired from a patient with callosal dysgenesis. Tovar-Moll et al. (2014) PNAS USA.


3. Absolute cell composition in the human brain: aims at identifying variations in the absolute number of neurons and glial cells along life, and compare the results in brains of cognitively healthy subjects with those presenting Alzheimer’s disease. It aims also to correlate cellularity indicators with neuroimaging parameters obtaind by magnetic ressonance.

4. Sex differences on the absolute cell composition of the brain and specific brain regions, at different ages – aims at verifying if there are, and what they consist of, quantitative diferences on neurons and glial cells influenced by the subjects’ sex.


 Women outnumber men in neurons and glial cells of the olfactory bulb: Oliveira-Pinto et al. (2014) PLoS ONE.
Women outnumber men in neurons and glial cells of the olfactory bulb: Oliveira-Pinto et al. (2014) PLoS ONE.

 

The Laboratory of Neuroplasticity is linked to the Graduate Program of Morphological Sciences (MSc and PhD) and to the Research Program of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences. It is also linked to the National Institute of Science and Technology on Translational Neuroscience, of the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology. Funding of the lab is obtained from diferente sources, among them the Brazilian Council for Development of Science and technology (CNPq), the CAPES-MEC Foundation, the Rio de Janeiro Foundation for the Support of Science, and the Brazilian Ministry of Health.

Besides the partnership with the D’Or Institute, the lab has a close association with the Brazilian Brain Bank of the Medical School, University of São Paulo.

The following people are staff in the lab:

  1. Roberto Lent, Professor (Head of the Lab)
  2. Fernanda Tovar-Moll, Adjunct Professor
  3. Patricia Pestana Garcez, Adjunct Professor
  4. Camila Lopes, Lab Technician
  5. Lena Dalva Rubim Pereira, Secretary

The following post-docs and graduate students do their work, theses and dissertation at the lab:

  1. Bruna Valerio Gomes, PhD
  2. Camila Gomes, Msc
  3. Carlomagno Pacheco Bahia, Postdoc
  4. Daniel Menezes Guimarães, PhD
  5. Danielle Rayêe, PhD
  6. Diego Szczupak, PhD
  7. Emily Castro Fonseca, PhD
  8. Isabelle Simard, PhD
  9. Juliana Andrade, Msc
  10. Rodrigo Jorge Vianna Barbosa, PhD
  11. Raissa Rilo Christoff, PhD
  12. Theo Marins, PhD

 

Besides the graduate work, many undergraduate students are Scientific Initiation fellows, doing their work connected to the different research projects described above.

In addition to the scientific activities, the Neuroplasticity Lab undertakes different projects of Science popularization, especially directed to Science education in public schools of Rio de Janeiro. Among them, it is worth mentioning the “Science on Wheels” Project, in collaboration with the 4th Regional Education Coordination, by which a group of professor and students visit each week one school in a small truck equipped with instruments, biological models, and audiovisual material, where many practical and playful actrivities are performed with the kids.

Among the most recent papers by the lab, the following can be selected (see the links below):


 

Address of the lab : Building F of the Center for Health Sciences, room 1-31. Phones: +55-21-2562-6469 ou 2562-6471.


Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas - Av. Carlos Chagas, 373 - bl.K, 2º andar, sala 35 - Prédio do Centro de Ciências da Saúde

Cidade Universitária, Ilha do Fundão - Rio de Janeiro - RJ, CEP 21941-902

Tels.: 2562-6674/6714 | E-mail:gabinete@icb.ufrj.br