Department of Neurobiology


The Department of Neurobiology consists of separate research teams and the independent Laboratory of Trace Elements Neurobiology. Research teams conduct complementary studies in areas such as metabotropic receptors for glutamate and the search for new sites of action for psychotropic drugs.


The team consisting of the following members: dr hab. Agnieszka Pałucha-Poniewiera (PhD), Karolina Podkowa (MPharm) and Szymon Rzeźniczek (MSc) takes part in the study of potential antidepressant properties of glutamate metabotropic ligands and their mechanisms of action.


The team consisting of the following members: Piotr Brański (PhD), Grzegorz Burnat (PhD), Paulina Chorobik (PhD), Marcin Marcinak (PhD), Barbara Chruścicka (MSc) deals with an identification and pharmacodynamic characteristics of biologically active chemical compounds. Their studies are focused on metabotropic receptors, in particular mGluR and GABA B.


The methodology and experimental procedures:

  • Mammalian cell cultures
  • Analysis of protein expression using RT-PCR and Western Blot
  • Immunofluorescence (microscopy and FACS)
  • Measurement of metabotropic receptors-mediated GTPase activity in isolated cell membranes
  • Cyclic ATP measurement (cells, tissue sections) using HTRF
  • Kinetic luminometric measurement of intracellular cAMP levels using a molecular sensor (Glo)
  • Measurement of the IP1 accumulation (cells, tissue sections) using HTRF
  • Measurement of intracellular mobilization of calcium ions (fluorescence)
  • Molecular cloning (propagation of bacterial vectors, modification of DNA sequence, transfer into mammalian cells [including tetracycline-inducible gene expression system], selection of cell clones)
  • Point mutations
  • Experiments on transgenic animals (PCR, electrophoretic separation of products)
  • Evaluation of sperm quality parameters (evaluation of: motility, vitality – eosinophilic test, maturity – presence and location of cytoplasmic droplets, integrity of cytoplasmic membrane – hyposmotic test and morphology of spermatozoids)


Dr hab. Joanna Wierońska (PhD), Monika Woźniak (MSc) and Paulina Cieślik (MSc) form a team whose main research direction are antipsychotics and their mechanisms of action. We use animal models of positive, negative and cognitive symptoms as well as techniques to determine the level of specific proteins and mRNA. Our studies oscillate around metabotropic receptors for glutamate and GABA B receptors.

The Laboratory of Neurodegeneration and Neuroprotection (no formal status), whose members are prof. dr hab. Maria Śmiałowska and Dr. Helena Domin, is involved in:

  • Research on neurodegeneration and neuroprotection in experimental models of ischemia
  • Study of neuroprotective and antidepressant mechanisms of glutamate group III receptor ligands and neuropeptide Y receptor ligands
  • Study of anatomical and histochemical interactions between different types of neurons and astrocytes in the cerebral cortex and limbic structures. We pay special attention to GABA and NPY neurons.


Methods used:

  • Histology (Nissl, HE, Kluver-Barrera staining)
  • Histochemistry and immunohistochemistry (NPY-ir, GAD67-ir, GFAP-ir, CRF-ir, NeuN-ir, TH-ir, TrpH-ir, immunohistochemical staining of selected receptors, and others)
  • Stereological quantification in microscopic images
  • Intracerebral administration of substances
  • Behavioral observations and tests
  • Western blot analysis of selected proteins or peptides.


The team closely collaborates with Laboratories of the Department of Neurobiology and other researchers in the Institute, especially in the field of behavior, Western blotting, neural cell cultures, and assessment of neurodegenerative changes in Parkinson's disease models.

The Department also conducts studies regarding the anxiolytic activity of drugs and the mechanisms of action of these compounds.

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  • , MSc Patrycja Pańczyszyn-Trzewik

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Head

Professor, PhD Andrzej Pilc

Telefon: +48 12 6623284
E-mail: pilc@if-pan.krakow.pl