LABORATORY OF NEUROPLASTICITY
Fernanda Tovar-Moll (email@example.com)
Patricia Pestana Garcez (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Roberto Lent (email@example.com)
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.
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.
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:
- Roberto Lent, Professor (Head of the Lab)
- Fernanda Tovar-Moll, Adjunct Professor
- Patricia Pestana Garcez, Adjunct Professor
- Camila Lopes, Lab Technician
- Lena Dalva Rubim Pereira, Secretary
The following post-docs and graduate students do their work, theses and dissertation at the lab:
- Bruna Valerio Gomes, PhD
- Camila Gomes, Msc
- Carlomagno Pacheco Bahia, Postdoc
- Daniel Menezes Guimarães, PhD
- Danielle Rayêe, PhD
- Diego Szczupak, PhD
- Emily Castro Fonseca, PhD
- Isabelle Simard, PhD
- Juliana Andrade, Msc
- Rodrigo Jorge Vianna Barbosa, PhD
- Raissa Rilo Christoff, PhD
- 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):
- Patricia P. Garcez, Erick Correia Loiola, Rodrigo Madeiro da Costa, Luiza M. Higa Pablo Trindade, Rodrigo Delvecchio, Juliana Minardi Nascimento, Rodrigo Brindeiro, Amilcar Tanuri, Stevens K. Rehen (2016). Zika virus impairs growth in human neurospheres and brain organoids. Science 10.1126/science.aaf6116
- Lazarev VV, de Carvalho Monteiro M, Vianna-Barbosa R, deAzevedo LC, Lent R, Tovar-Moll F (2016). Electrophysiological Correlates of Morphological Neuroplasticity in Human Callosal Dysgenesis. PLoS One. 2016 Apr 7;11(4):e0152668. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152668. eCollection 2016.
- Oliveira-Pinto AV, Andrade-Moraes CH, Oliveira LM, Parente-Bruno DR, Santos RM, Coutinho RA, Alho AT, Leite RE, Suemoto CK, Grinberg LT, Pasqualucci CA, Jacob-Filho W, Lent R (2015). Do age and sex impact on the absolute cell numbers of human brain regions? Brain Struct Funct. 2015 Sep 28
- Lent R, Tovar-Moll F (2015). How can development and plasticity contribute to understanding evolution of the human brain? Front Hum Neurosci. 2015 Apr 14;9:208. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00208. eCollection 2015.
- Marins TF, Rodrigues EC, Engel A, Hoefle S, Basílio R, Lent R, Moll J, Tovar-Moll F. (2015). Enhancing Motor Network Activity Using Real-Time Functional MRI Neurofeedback of Left Premotor Cortex. Front Behav Neurosci. 2015 Dec 24;9:341. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00341. eCollection 2015.
- Oliveira-Pinto AV, Santos RM, Coutinho RA, Oliveira LM, Santos GB, Alho ATL, Leite REP, Farfel JM, Suemoto CK, Grinberg LT, Pasqualucci CA, Jacob-Filho W, Lent R (2014) Sexual dimorphism in the human olfactory bulb: Females have more neurons and glial cells than males. PLoS ONE 9(11): e111733.
- Tovar-Moll F, Monteiro M, Andrade J, Bramati I, Vianna-Barbosa R, Marins T, Rodrigues E, Dantas N, Behrens T, Oliveira Souza R, Moll J, Lent R (2014) Structural and functional brain rewiring clarifies preserved inter-hemispheric transfer in humans born without the corpus callosum. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 111:7843-7848.
- Andrade-Moraes CH, Oliveira-Pinto AV, Castro-Fonseca E, Silva CG, Guimarães DM, Szczupak D, Parente-Bruno BR, Carvalho LRB, Polichiso L, Gomes BV, Oliveira LM, Rodriguez RD, Leite REP, Ferretti-Rebustini REL, Jacob-Filho W, Pasqualucci CA, Grinberg LT, Lent R (2013) Cell number changes in Alzheimer’s disease relate to dementia, not to plaques and tangles. Brain 136:3738-3752.
- Azevedo FAC, Andrade-Moraes CH, Curado MR, Oliveira-Pinto AV, Guimarães DM, Szczupak D, Gomes BV, Alho AT, Polichiso L, Tampellini E, Lima L, Lima DO, Silva H, Lent R (2013) Automatic isotropic fractionation for large-scale quantitative cell analysis of nervous tissue. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 212:72-78.
- Simões EL, Bramati I, Rodrigues E, Franzoi A, Moll J, Lent R, Tovar-Moll F (2012) Functional expansion of sensorimotor representation and structural reorganization of callosal connections in lower limb amputees. Journal of Neuroscience 32:3211-3220.
- Lourenço MR, Garcez PP, Lent R, Uziel D (2012) Temporal and spatial regulation of interneuron distribution in the developing cerebral cortex – an in vitro study. Neuroscience 201:357-365.
- Lent R, Azevedo FAC, Andrade-Moraes CH e Oliveira-Pinto AV (2012) How many neurons do you have? Some dogmas of quantitative neuroscience under revision. European Journal of Neuroscience 35:1-9.
- Bandeira FC, Lent R, Herculano-Houzel S (2009) Changing numbers of neuronal and non-neuronal cells underlie postnatal brain growth in the rat. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 106:14108-14113.
- Azevedo FAC, Carvalho LRB, Grinberg LT, Farfel JM, Ferretti REL, Leite REP, Jacob Filho W, Lent R, Herculano-Houzel S (2009) Equal numbers of neuronal and non-neuronal cells make the human brain an isometrically scaled-up primate brain. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 513:532-541.
- Garcez PP, Henrique NP, Furtado DA, Bolz J, Lent R, Uziel D (2007) Axons of callosal neurons bifurcate transiently at the white matter before consolidating an interhemispheric projection. European Journal of Neuroscience, 25: 1384-1394.
- Tovar-Moll F, Moll J, Bramati I, Oliveira-Souza R, Andreiuolo PA, Lent R (2007) Neuroplasticity in human callosal dysgenesis: a diffusion tensor imaging study. Cerebral Cortex, 17:531-541.
- Herculano-Houzel S, Mota B, Lent R (2006) Cellular scaling rules for rodent brains. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 103: 12138-12143.
Address of the lab : Building F of the Center for Health Sciences, room 1-31. Phones: +55-21-2562-6469 ou 2562-6471.